The Constitution and Arbitration Seminar, organized by Santiago Very Young Arbitration Practitioners (SVYAP) and Alessandri, was held on Thursday, May 26. It was attended by three expert guests and our senior associate Patricio Rámila, moderated the seminar.
More than 25 lawyers participated in person in the seminar that SVYAP organized at the offices of Alessandri Abogados on May 26 on Constitution and Arbitration. The event was also available online, and was transmitted via streaming by Estado Diario. See the complete broadcast here.
“The relationship between the Constitution and arbitration is extremely close and delicate,” said Patricio Rámila, Alessandri senior associate and moderator, at the beginning of the event. The event featured an international panel of three experts on the subject.
Patricio Zapata, a prominent national constitutionalist, Master of Law at Harvard Law School and Carey senior advisor, commented that “there is indeed a critical diagnosis of the way in which our justice system, our judiciary, is constructed (…) Important deficiencies have been diagnosed as an institution”. “The creation of new administrative courts is proposed. I don’t know if it should be in a Constitution. We had the experience before and it remained as an unfulfilled promise. It is not necessarily bad that the initiative has been re-installed (…) But I hope it is not so utopian.”
Elina Mereminskaya, PhD in Law at Göttingen University and partner at Wagemann Lawyers & Engineers stressed, “For me these two notions, arbitration and constitution, should not be used together in the same sentence.” “In the draft constitution arbitration loses its jurisdictional nature, which by itself is not a drama because arbitration is not going to end because of that alone (…) but if we look for what it says about the courts, in no way arbitral tribunals are included.”
Javier Rovalino, Master in Law from Duke University, lawyer at the Catholic University of Quito and partner and founder of Rovalino, explained: “There is undoubtedly a tension between constitutional law and arbitration practice (…) Countries like Chile that have been a Latin American example have to fight to remain so. These issues have to be debated and carried out in a responsible manner”. “The exit of treaties, the limitation of access to arbitration in investment contracts, in large mining, energy and other projects, can have a tremendous effect in discouraging foreign investment.”
The presentations were followed by a cocktail reception.