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The main arbitration institution in Portugal is the CAC. The Portuguese Court of Arbitration for Sport began its operation in 2015. Portugal is a party to the NYC. The country’s government encourages the settlement of international disputes through ADR in Portugal. In 2001, it created the Cabinet for Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Individuals considering settling international commercial disputes through arbitration in Portugal should keep in mind that the recently adopted law on arbitration provides them with greater flexibility in concluding arbitration agreements in Portugal. It also contains provisions that increase the quantity of arbitration clauses that can be added in contracts.

All in all, Portugese legislation favors arbitration. However, it tends to interpret the grounds for refusing to recognize or enforce foreign arbitral awards in the Republic of Portugal too narrowly. If that is the case, interested parties can file an appeal against a decision rendered by courts of 1st instance; however, they must ensure compliance with a requirement for a claim’s cost.

Portugal: Mediation

Adopted in 2013, the Mediation Act introduces some general principles that apply to  mediation in the Republic of Portugal, commercial & civil mediation, state-funded mediation & mediators. It also contains essential provisions according to which any property-related disputes or rights arising from the subject of transactions require settlement through mediation in the Republic of Portugal.

Individuals seeking to settle a dispute through mediation in the Republic of Portugal should be mindful of the fact that a private mediation agreement can sometimes be enforced directly & require no out-of-court permission from mediation centers controlled by the Justice Ministry.

Mediation legislation contains provisions on mediators’ rights, duties & training, including rules that apply to state-funded mediation structures. 

Please keep in mind that the conclusion of a mediation agreement in Portugal takes place between parties’ lawyers (while mediation proceedings are still ongoing).

Other ADR Methods

Apart from arbitration & mediation, another popular form of ADR in the Republic of Portugal is permission granted by magistrates. Resorting to justices of the peace is possible for resolving international disputes in the Republic of Portugal between individuals. They have jurisdiction in civil cases involving claims of up to fifteen thousand euros. 

Pursuant to recently amended ADR legislation, legal entities can now settle their disputes by mediation (class actions excluded); they can also take advantage of preliminary injunctions. Administering mediation disputes requires a justice of the peace to have a degree in law; however, they aren’t required to have any additional legal background.

Considering settling a dispute by arbitration/mediation in the Republic of Portugal? Need advice on arbitration/mediation regulation in Portugal? Why not contact IQ Decision UK?