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Other Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods
The Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission
The Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission has established, maintains, and administers throughout the Western Hemisphere a system for settlement, by arbitration or conciliation, of international commercial disputes. The system includes National Sections or Representatives in almost all countries in the Western Hemisphere. Where no such National Section or Representative exists, the Commission performs all activities that would otherwise be performed by a National Section.
Working in cooperation with the National Sections, the Commission provides service to parties who request conciliation or arbitration in accordance with the rules of the Commission. Arbitrations are conducted by arbitrators who are specially selected by the parties or by the Commission in accordance with the IACAC Rules of Procedure, utilizing existing panels of highly qualified individuals who render awards on the merits of dispute.
The membership of the Commission represents all of the American Republics, and its purposes are (1) The establishment of arbitration facilities in each American Republic. For this purpose the Commission has appointed National Sections in the various Republics, responsible for organizing panels of arbitrators, and administering the standard Rules of the Commission. (2) The modification of arbitration laws in order to facilitate the conduct of arbitrations and ensure the enforcement of arbitration agreements and awards. The National Sections of the Commission are undertaking, in their respective countries, to modernize their arbitration laws. (3) familiarizing businesspeople in all the American Republics with arbitration procedure, and its advantages to exporters and importers in inter-American trade. This work is being conducted through publicity and correspondence. (4) the arbitration or adjustment of differences or controversies, arising in the course of inter-American trade, that might interfere with the flow of goods from market to market or impair the goodwill and friendly relations of businessmen of the American Republics. (5) Obtain the ratification in their respective countries of the Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration (1975) and the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (1958).
Originally established in 1934 as a result of Resolution XLI of the Seventh International Conference of American States at its meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay, in December, 1933, the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission is composed of a Delegate and an Alternate Delegate from each of its National Sections. The Commission coordinates the activities of the National Sections, provides administrative services, and serves as an appointing authority for arbitrators.
The Commission meets at least once every two years, is governed during the interval by an Executive Committee, and is supported financially by case fees as well as contributions from National Sections and interested organizations and institutions.
The duties of the Commission may be carried out through such officers, staff, or committees as the Commission designates. In order to facilitate the conduct of a case, the Commission will, when all parties agree, delegate functions under the Rules of Procedure to the National Section designated by the parties.
The National Sections are representative of the members of the business and legal communities in their respective countries. Each National Section maintains a panel of arbitrators specially chosen for their expertise. The Commission also engages in educational activities designed to foster the knowledge and use of international commercial arbitration.
Additionally, the Commission lends its good offices to conciliation or resolution by other means of misunderstandings and trade disputes.
As of January 1, 1978, the Rules of Procedure are the official rules of the IACAC. They have the substantive provision of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (developed by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law and recommended by the General Assembly on December 15, 1976) and have been adapted to the institutional requirements of the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission. Disputes submitted to the IACAC prior to July 1, 1988, will be administered under these rules unless both parties prefer that the arbitration be administered under the rules previously in effect, and so indicated to the IACAC in writing. All cases initiated after July 1, 1988, will be administered under the rules published by IACAC.
The Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration came into effect on June 16, 1976. As of March 1996, the Convention had been ratified by Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Article 3 of the Convention provides as follows: "In the absence of an express agreement between the parties, the arbitration shall be conducted in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission." Thus, the Convention has given the IACAC a special responsibility.
The United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (1958) had as of October 1995, been ratified by 105 nations, including in the Western Hemisphere, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, the Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The parties shall be deemed to have made these rules a part of their arbitration agreement whenever they have provided for arbitration by the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission or under its rules.
When parties agree to arbitrate under these rules or when they provide for arbitration by the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission and an arbitration is initiated thereunder, they thereby constitute the IACAC the administrator of the arbitration. The authority and obligations of the administrator are prescribed in the agreement of the parties and in these rules. A model clause for the arbitration of future disputes is recommended by IACAC.
Where the contract of the parties does not contain a clause for the arbitration of future disputes, an agreement to arbitrate can be made when a dispute arises. Aid in the preparation of such a submission will be given by the Commission upon the request of the parties.
A party who desires to initiate an arbitration should give a notice of arbitration, as described in Article 3 of the Rules of Procedure. The initiating party shall file with the Commission at any of its offices two copies of said notice, together with two copies of the contract or such parts thereof as relate to the dispute, including the arbitration provision. The Commission shall give notice of such filing to the other party.
When a party initiates an arbitration under these rules, the Commission shall provide administrative services to facilitate the conduct of the case. Such services include scheduling and making physical arrangements for hearings, issuing notices and orders when required, acting as a conduit for exchanges of papers between the parties and arbitrators, arranging fees of arbitrators, and performing other services. These administrative services help to assure efficient handling of the necessary details of the arbitration and provide a desirable buffer between disputing parties.
A party may request the Commission to appoint arbitrators in accordance with Articles 6 and 7 of the of the Rules of Procedure and to perform various other functions set forth in those rules.
Whenever a party requests the Commission to perform any of these administrative or appointing services, an administrative fee is payable. Administrative fees and other service charges are described in the Rules of Procedure (they are subject to changes by the Commission).
A party who desires to communicate with the Commission may do so either through the Commission's National Office in his country or through the President, Director General, or General Counsel.
On some occasions, the parties prefer to use procedures for conciliation rather than arbitration. This can frequently be effected through the good offices of the Commission or its National Sections. The IACAC has adopted the UNCITRAL Conciliation Rules with appropriate minor modifications for IACAC purposes.
The Arbitration clause recommended by the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission is as follows:
Any dispute, controversy, or claim arising from or relating to this contract or the breach, termination or invalidity thereof shall be settled by arbitration in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission in effect on the date of this agreement.
Where the contract does not contain an arbitration clause and the parties desire to submit to arbitration under the Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission an existing dispute arising from the contract, it is recommended that they consult with the Commission in preparing an appropriate text for a submission to arbitration.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez Soria Lic. Gonzalo Gonzalez Diaz President First Vice President FAX 34-1 5564182 FAX 52-5 5922279 Madrid, Spain Mexico City, Mexico Dr. Roberto Illingworth Dr. Federico Callizo Second Vice President Third Vice President FAX 593-4 323478 FAX 595 2124722 Guayaquil, Ecuador Asuncion, Paraguay Dr. Guillermo Fernandez de Soto Dr. Jose Diez Clavero Director General Secretary FAX 57-1 2847735 FAX 34-1 5383689 Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia Madrid, Spain Dr. Rafael Bernal Gutierrez Dr. Ulises Montoya Assistant Director General Treasurer FAX 57-1 6161741 FAX 51-14 471154 Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia Lima, Peru William K. Slate, II Carlos Eugenio Jorquiera FAX 1-212 7654874 FAX 56-2 6333395 New York, N.Y., USA Santiago, Chile Alfonso P. Varela Fernandez Dr. Rafael Eyzaguirre FAX 5982-961243 FAX 56-26326605 Montevideo, Uruguay Santiago, Chile Charles R. Norberg, Esq. Honorary Director General FAX 1-202 4583293
Director: Sr. Fernando Cáceres P.
Director: Carlos Henrique de C. Froes
Director: Prof. Paul J. Davidson
Director: Lic. Carlos A. Alvarado
Director: Dr. Guillermo Fernandez de Soto
Director: Lic. Carlos A. Alvarado M.
Director: Dr. Roberto Illingworth
Director: Dr. Rodolfo Rohrmoser
Director: Lic. Eduardo Garcia Villaseñor
Director: Dr. Federico Callizo N.
Director: Dr. Ulises Montoya
Director: Dr. Manuel Bergés Chupani
Director: Dr. Julio Gonzalez Soria
Director: William K. Slate, III
Director: Dr. James A. Whitelaw
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