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Resolution of disputes by mediation in Ecuador, including domestic & international litigation, is governed by the Arbitration Act. It provides for special proceedings through specialized institutions that can be incorporated by NPOs originally registered with the Ecuadorian Federation of Chambers of Commerce. However, pursuant to the procedural code, they’re now authorized by the Judicial Council, a body responsible for regulating adjudicators’ activities. According to it, arbitration isn’t an alternative method of dispute resolution in Ecuador (as provided for in the Constitution) but a jurisdictional action.

Where Can One Resolve a Dispute by Arbitration in Ecuador?

Major arbitration institutions operate under the auspices of regular & bilateral chambers of commerce (established for the promotion of trade between Ecuador & other countries). The main arbitration centers were incorporated by:

  • The Quito Chamber of Commerce.
  • The Guayaquil Chamber of Commerce.
  • Production chambers in the province of Azuay.
  • The National Building Chamber.
  • Ecuadorian-US Chamber of Commerce.

Each of them has its own rules for the conduct of proceedings & settlement of disputes by arbitration in Ecuador. The Ecuadorian-US Chamber of Commerce is authorized to conduct arbitration proceedings as per the Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration. Authorized by the International Chamber of Commerce of Paris, the Arbitration Center of the Quito Chamber of Commerce has been its representative in Ecuador since 2017.

Awards delivered by arbitration tribunals may be overturned by chairmen of provincial courts. Their verdicts can’t be contested or appealed. Initially, the Constitutional Court confirmed that constitutional review isn’t applicable to arbitration proceedings; however, this decision was soon changed. Now, claims for emergency protection can be filed either against decisions rendered by provincial courts’ chairmen or arbitral awards; however, for that to happen, they must be found to violate parties’ constitutional or human rights.

Courts’ Intervention

Owing to the lack of confidence in the judiciary, arbitration is slowly becoming an alternative method for resolving disputes in Ecuador (especially in the city of Quito). However, government agencies have consistently refused to refer disputes to arbitration, believing that only the state has the right to decide on state affairs.

Their position is shared by the President who declined to sign the ICSID Convention & all other bilateral treaties on international investment.

Aiming to attract foreign investment, Ecuadorian legislation obliges parties to resolve domestic & international disputes by arbitration in Ecuador. Its provisions are primarily applicable to investment treaties signed between Ecuador & foreign investors. On the other hand, they contradict the requirements put in place by the country with regard to the resolution of disputes by arbitration in Ecuador.

Seeking to resolve a dispute by arbitration in Ecuador? Need advice on arbitration regulation in Ecuador? Why not contact IQ Decision UK?