Legal experts mull over potential change in arbitration law

May 17, 2013
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The Brazilian arbitration law may soon be changing, as regulators want to strengthen certain components of the law in order to increase its effectiveness in certain situations. 

Brazil's current arbitration law is considered strong by many legal analysts in the country, however, as it gave complex cases the opportunity to be settled by expert professionals in a manner that is both just and easy to enforce. In fact, from 2005 to 2011, arbitration has become an increasingly effective component of Brazilian law, as the total amount of the major cases that underwent arbitration in the main chambers of the country was eight times higher in 2011 than six years earlier. 

Despite that fact, there are still many in favor of increased arbitration regulations, which has prompted a response from numerous professionals in the industry.

Selma Ferreria Lemes is a professor at GVLaw of Fundação Getúlio Vargas and a Brazilian representative in the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Lemes worked on the draft of the current arbitration law, which was put in place in 1996, and is one of the individuals primarily responsible for the law's presence in Brazil. She is fighting to keep the law in place, stating that its failure to regulate certain situations represents freedoms that she doesn't want to see go away.

"There are many people who cannot work with this freedom, because he or she is used to being directed," she said in a recent statement. "We have a good law. I hope that they preserve this freedom."

It's important for companies considering doing business in the country to obtain a firm grasp of Brazilian laws. Working with lawyers in Brazil will help establish this understanding. 

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