Legal advice on conciliation and arbitration, Costa Rica

LEGAL ADVICE ON Arbitration and Conciliation

What is arbitration and conciliation?

The arbitration and conciliation processes that apply in Costa Rica generate consequently, mostly, because of breaches of contractual relationships (contracts) or conflicts of patrimonial nature.

The main characteristics of arbitration and conciliation are that they are fast, economic and legal mechanisms with the validity of a judicial sentence. They can apply to conflicts of a commercial, business, real estate or construction nature, among many others.

Recall that from beginning to end of these processes, the parties should be advised by lawyers who are experts in various branches of law, who will ensure their rights and compliance with final judgments.

What is arbitration?

In Costa Rica, there is the Center for Conciliation and Arbitration (CCA) of the Chamber of Commerce, authorized by the Ministry of Justice, which handles most of the arbitrations and conciliations that take place throughout the country.

The CCA states “arbitration is a non-judicial process by which the parties voluntarily and privately choose that any controversy of an economic nature be resolved by one or more arbitrators and whose decision, by law, imposes as mandatory, and confers upon them the same effects as a court judgment.”

Advantages of arbitration:

  • Quickness: one of the principles of arbitration is quickness, because the arbitrators decide the dispute within a certain period.
  • Economy: thanks to the rapidity of the process, the cost of arbitration is lower compared to judicial proceedings, although the parties pay the arbitrators’ fees.
  • Specialized professionalism: generally, the arbitrators (expert lawyers) are specialists in the subject matter of the litigation.
  • Confidentiality: only the parties and their lawyers have access to the case file.
  • Immediacy: the relationship of the arbitrators with the parties involves a direct and personal contact with each other and with the evidence. The communication is direct, and the oral process facilitates the interrogations, reviews and reasoning, among others.
  • Impartiality: the arbitrators must maintain impartiality towards all parties involved in the arbitration process.

Who can submit to arbitration proceedings?

Citizens in general, Costa Ricans or foreigners; members or not of the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica; public or private companies, whether national or foreign.

What is conciliation?

The conciliation, adds the CCA, “is a procedure whereby the parties in conflict, with the help of an impartial third party (the arbitrator = lawyer with vast experience), seek a solution that meets the interests of both parties.”

What are the characteristics of the conciliation?

  • The conciliation process is quite fast: it usually takes about 8 hours.
  • The process is completely confidential (the conciliator acts under professional secrecy).
  • The conciliatory agreements have the same legal validity of the Courts of Justice of Costa Rica.

Who can resort to conciliation processes?

People in general, national or foreign; members or not of the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica; public or private companies, whether national or foreign.

What is the Conciliation and Arbitration Clause that should be included in the contracts?

“All disputes or differences that may relate to, or derive from this contract, its execution, settlement or interpretation; they will be resolved by arbitration, in accordance with the Arbitration Rules of the Conciliation and Arbitration Center of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce, to whose rules the parties submit unconditionally. The Arbitral Tribunal will be composed of (one or three members) *, and will decide on (right or equity) *. The Conciliation and Arbitration Center of the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica is the institution in charge of administering the arbitration process. “

* Choose between one or three arbitrators and between right or equity.

Private conciliation and arbitration centers

As arbitrations and conciliations can be carried out with the mediation of the Center for Conciliation and Arbitration (CCA) of the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica, there are at least 15 other private centers authorized by the Costa Rican State to provide the services:

  • Alternative Justice Center of the Costa Rican Bar Association
  • International Center for Conciliation and Arbitration, created by the Costa Rican-North American Chamber of Commerce
  • Conflict Resolution Center of the Federated College of Engineers and Architects

Does ERP Lawyers advise me on these issues?

For an arbitration or conciliation process to come to fruition, it becomes essential that the parties have experienced legal advisors, who accompany them at all times and participate in the deliberations.

Thanks to the active communication with our represented, in ERP Lawyers & Associates we achieve an in-depth understanding of each conflict, to offer strategies and wise definitions that culminate in the best results.