The big party that celebrated the 40th anniversary of CAM-CCBC, on December 04, in São Paulo, was open to guests. And it could not have been any different for an institution that took on the mission of developing alternative dispute resolution methods in Brazil and around the world.
In 1979, the Center was inaugurated as an Arbitration Commission. “The lawyers were not used to it. Therefore, our initial concern was to organize activities that showed the advantages of the arbitration proceedings”, explains the first president of CAM-CCBC, José Carlos de Magalhães.
To give you an idea of the obstacles, the Center conducted its second proceeding only in 1996, in the momentum of the enactment of an arbitration act in the country. And cases began to grow in geometric progression only after the acthad its constitutionality declared by the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court in the early 2000s.
Throughout these 40 years, the pioneering spirit that marked the opening of the institution has continued. Internationally, CAM-CCBC has entered into agreements with other centers on different continents. It has also opened a dialogue in less traditional regions, but with considerable opportunities for advancement, such as China and Angola. Not to mention support for academic competitions, which make new generations of lawyers aware of the role of alternative dispute resolution methods.
At the same time, CAM-CCBC has pioneered initiatives that ensure greater transparency, speed, and quality for the management of the proceedings. Increasing the number from four to eight executive departments, for example, is proof of the constant concern with the efficiency and quality of the proceedings.
One of the first steps taken by CAM-CCBC President Eleonora Coelho, who took office in April this year, is also related to efficiency. Eleonora appointed Patrícia Kobayashi, who served as the Center’s Deputy Secretary General, as General Secretary, a position previously held by the president herself. Patrícia took over activities such as the issuance of merely administrative orders, which optimized the conduct of the proceedings. Until the beginning of her administration, all orders in the arbitration proceedings were rendered by the president.
“We are creating an indicator to know to what extent this will impact on speed”, says Eleonora, who continues to render orders in awards.
At a time when CAM-CCBC is turning its attention to diversity in the arbitral tribunals, the fact that Eleonora is the Center’s first female president is a synonym of evolution and focus on creating an institution aligned with the demands of society. In taking office, she praised CAM-CCBC’s Rulesand stressed the need to improve it by further developing proceedings such as the emergency arbitrator’s.
Eleonora points out that there are still challenges to be faced, such as the lack of a published set of arbitral awards. “Publishing the awards preserving the confidentiality of the parties and the content will greatly contribute to the advance of arbitration in the country”, believes the President.
Another point that has been getting more attention from CAM-CCBC is mediation. General Secretary Patricia Kobayashi identifies that this method is not yet used in the expected frequency in the country. “Each method serves to resolve a particular conflict, at a particular stage of the parties’ relationship. It is up to our Center to diffuse it. Demonstrate, train, and disseminate all these methods so that the parties make the best choice at the most adequate moment “, explains Patrícia.
Leading the Arbitration and Mediation Debate
In CAM-CCBC’s operation there is always room for other pioneering initiatives, such as the CAM-CCBC Arbitration Congress, which gathered around 500 participants in its 2019 edition, and the São Paulo Arbitration Week, a collaborative platform for events and academic debates that puts São Paulo at the center of the worldwide debate on the subject.
CAM-CCBC is 40 years old and has conducted more than 1050 arbitration proceedings, of which 325 are currently ongoing. The average amount of the disputes in 2018 was about R$ 100 million.