The Use of Multi-Tiered Dispute Resolution Clauses in Latin America: Questions of Enforceability – Vol. 14 No. 3

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Authors: Eduardo Palmer* and Eliana Lopez**

Published: April 2004

Commercial Disputes
Dispute Resolution and Litigation
Enforcement of Arbitral Awards



The principle of party autonomy is widely accepted and is generally recognized as the driving force of international arbitration. In light of this principle, this paper will analyze the use of multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses in disputes involving parties or transactions in Latin American countries.

The use of multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses in international commercial agreements has become an ordinary practice. The increase in use of these clauses is demonstrated by the increase of ICC arbitral cases on the enforceability or validity of multi-tiered clauses, in addition to the adoption of the new ICC ADR Rules. Because the widespread use of such clauses is relatively new in international agreements, it is uncertain how legal systems in Latin American countries will rule regarding the enforcement or validity of such clauses. However, a look at the disposition of Latin American countries towards dispute resolution mechanisms in general and the rise of arbitration in Latin American countries provides valuable insight as to whether and in what circumstances the use of multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses in international agreements will be valid and enforced in Latin American countries.

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*Eduardo Palmer is the Chair of the International Litigation & Arbitration Department, Steel Hector & Davis LLP.
**Eliana Lopez is candidate for a J.D. degree, 2004, Georgetown University Law Center.