Uruguay - Arbitration Law and Practice in Latin America
Originally from Arbitration Law and Practice in Latin America
I. INTRODUCTION: ARBITRATION IN URUGUAY HISTORY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
A. History and Current Legislation on Arbitration
1. Historical evolution of law relating to arbitration
Arbitration was first introduced in Uruguay by application of the laws of Spain then in force, which recognized the validity and enforceability of awards.
The first Uruguayan laws to make reference to arbitration were the Commercial and Civil Codes passed respectively on 1865 and 1868 which included provisions where arbitration was mandatory for the parties (such as in disputes between partners). These laws, however, did not provide any procedural regulations.
Our first procedural code (the Civil Procedural Code) was passed on 1878 and it did include several provisions on the enforceability of arbitration clauses, appointment of arbitrators, conducting the arbitration among others, that would apply in the absence of specific provisions by the parties on these matters. It provided the backbone for arbitration in Uruguay.
In 1975, a law was passed that abrogated all instances of mandatory arbitration set forth by the law, leaving the choice of whether or not to arbitrate to the parties to a dispute.
Later on, in 1988, our present procedural code (the General Procedural Code or “GPC”) was passed. It entailed little to no innovation regarding the previous procedural regulation on the matter. No law specifically on arbitration has ever been passed.
Although mandatory arbitration has not been reinstated as a widespread method, several recent laws have tried to promote its use or directly established the obligation to resort to it in some cases.