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Modelled on the UML & ICC Arbitration Rules, Panama's arbitration legislation also has similarities with legislation of other countries (e.g. France, Mexico & Spain). 

Those seeking to initiate arbitration in the Republic of Panama should keep in mind that they must always draft arbitration agreements in written form. However, this requirement only applies to emails access to which may be required for final confirmation. It may also be required in cases involving exchange of summaries of complaints, responses to complaints or references to arbitration clauses.


Those seeking to settle a dispute through arbitration in the Republic of Panama are at liberty to appoint as many arbitrators as they wish, providing arbitration tribunals are made up of an odd number of participants. If there's disagreement as to how many arbitrators there should be, disputes will be settled by only one of them. If a party is represented by the Panamanian government or a government agency, an arbitral tribunal may be made up of 3 arbitrators. If arbitral tribunals must be made up of 3 arbitrators, they’re appointed by parties themselves. After that, arbitrators appoint a chairman.

Replacing arbitrators is possible if:

  • their impartiality is called into question;
  • they don’t meet parties’ criteria; 
  • they failed to adhere to legal requirements.

Panama: Resolving a Dispute by Arbitration

Normally, courts are forbidden to intervene in arbitration proceedings. Parties may agree to resolve a dispute by arbitration in Panama if a case can be referred to arbitration.

Those planning to settle a dispute in Panama by arbitration should keep in mind that Panamanian courts may intervene before arbitral tribunals are formed. They can do so after plaintiffs or arbitration tribunals file a request for assistance in granting interim measures.

Settling a dispute through arbitration in the Republic of Panama requires awards to be delivered within 60 days of filing a claim. Depending on how complex a particular case is, this period can be prolonged for another 60 days.

When it comes to resolving international disputes in the Republic of Panama, awards must be rendered within the deadlines set by the  corresponding provisions of Panamanian arbitration legislation or pursuant to an agreement reached by parties.

Awards rendered by arbitration tribunals are required to be in writing & bear signatures of the majority of arbitrators. Should there be disagreement between arbitrators, a tribunal's chairman may affix a signature to an award. Normally, awards contain the arbitrators' rationale for rendering them, as well as information about the site & date of an arbitration.

Appealing an arbitral award in the Republic of Panama is done by filing an application for annulment with the High Court.

Seeking to resolve a dispute through arbitration in the Republic of Panama? Need advice on arbitration regulation in the Republic of Panama? Why not contact IQ Decision UK?