New Trends in Spanish Arbitration - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 59, No. 1
The authors are attorneys specializing in international commercial arbitration in English and Spanish at B. Cremades y Abogados, in Madrid, Spain where Mr. Stampa is a partner and Dr. Cairns is an associate. Dr. Cairns is also a solicitor in England, Wales and New Zealand, an associate professor at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, and a member of the Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Madrid. The authors’ e-mail addresses are firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
The authors would like to thank Mr. José Luis Roca, Director-General of the Spanish Court of Arbitration and Secretary General to the Euro-American Court of Arbitration, for the information provided for this article.
Spain’s entry into the European Union in 1986, its rapid economic expansion and liberalization of trade have enabled it to actively participate in the globalization of commerce and communications. Spain has sharply increased its foreign direct investments, particularly in Latin America, where it has become the largest investor after the United States. Spain also has entered into numerous bilateral investment treaties (especially with Latin-American nations), which provide for the arbitration of investment disputes.
Spain’s new economic position has demanded modern arbitration legislation and institutions. In 1994, the Spanish Court of Arbitration entered into an agreement of cooperation with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) by which these arbitral institutions agreed, among other matters, to promote the wider use of arbitration and to provide each other, upon request, with facilities or administrative services in connection with arbitration proceedings.
Additional progress was made in 2000 through the reforms to Spain’s civil procedure law, and in November 2002, when Spain’s Superior Council of Chambers of Commerce established the Euro-American Court of Arbitration.1 The Euro-American Court, as its name implies, is intended to exploit Spain’s unique position as a bridge between Europe and the Americas. It has been developed with the collaboration of Spain’s Chambers of Commerce in other European countries and in North and South America, which will help promote the use of the court.
However, the most pressing need was for a new arbitration act. This has now been addressed by the Spanish Parliament. On Dec. 23, 2003, the new Spanish Arbitration Act was enacted, effective March 2004. The new law is based on the 1985 United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the UNCITRAL Model Law), and as such, it brings Spanish arbitral law and practice into conformity with international standards.
These developments should ensure that Spain, a member of the EU and the Hispanic world, will become an attractive venue for international arbitration generally and, specifically, for disputes between European and Latin American parties.