National Parliament approves Legal Regime of Voluntary Arbitration

Mon. 22 of February of 2021, 18:16h

After the overall approval, on January 26th, and the detailed approval by the National Parliament’s Committee A, which deals with constitutional affairs and justice, on February 12th, the Law Proposal that approves the legal regime of voluntary arbitration and that makes the first amendment to the Civil Procedure Code, was approved on February 22nd, 2021, by the National Parliament Plenary, with 36 votes in favour, 5 abstentions and 6 votes against. The plenary session was attended by the Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães and the Minister of Justice, Manuel Cárceres da Costa.

The legal regime of voluntary arbitration is part of a set of proposals of the former Ministry of Legislative Reform and Parliamentary Affairs, which have been, in the last month, object of analysis and vote by the National Parliament, and which aim to guarantee the improvement and strengthening of the justice administration system, in order to offer all citizens a jurisdictional service that ensures objective, impartial, equitable, useful and efficient resolution of disputes.

Arbitration is an alternative method of resolving conflicts between the parties, vis-à-vis  the regular judicial system. The conflicting parties agree that the dispute is resolved by arbitrators appointed by them and the final decision is binding on the parties and has the executive power of the decision of the judicial courts.

One of the main advantages of arbitration is the speed in resolution of cases and the competence of the persons who decide the dispute, given the complexity and specificity of some of the topics under analysis. Following a set of international rules, enabling greater speed in conflict resolution and being decision-binding, fosters the confidence of external partners and mitigates possible barriers to their investment in the country.

On February 2nd, the National Parliament had already approved the accession of Timor-Leste to the 1958’s New York Convention, on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. This convention applies to the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards delivered in the territory of a State other than the one where the recognition and enforcement of judgments are requested and resulting from disputes between natural or legal persons. It also applies to arbitral awards which are not considered national awards in the State in which their recognition and enforcement are requested.