Three Decades of Latin American Commercial Arbitration
2009University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law
Jonathan C. Hamilton
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At the edge of Panama City, on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal, the "Bridge of the Americas" stands at the crossroads of the Americas. It was in Panama three decades ago that Latin America met a crossroads with respect to the resolution of international disputes through arbitration—and concluded the 1975 Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration ("Panama Convention").
This Essay discusses how the legal framework of international commercial arbitration has evolved during the past three decades. It considers the role of the Panama Convention in principle and in practice, the efficacy of the Panama Convention in light of the ratification of the 1958 United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards ("New York Convention") across Latin America, and arbitral precedents in jurisdictions across the region.