International activities

CAM-CCBC advances in steady steps in its strategy to intensify exchange of experiences with ADR community abroad

By Sérgio Siscaro

The constant commitment to the international insertion of CAM-CCBC is one of its main features and has remained an important aspect of its activities in 2020 – despite the challenges imposed by the pandemic of the new coronavirus. Throughout the year, the Center has conducted litigation involving parties headquartered in other countries, participated in international events, and contributed to actions of other international organizations.

Over the past three years, the Center has maintained a stable volume of international operations. If in 2017 only 9.22% of the cases initiated at CAM-CCBC were international, in 2018 this share jumped to 14.85%, and then to 15.46% of the cases in the following year. This year, partial data available, including the first ten months of 2020, indicate that 16.66% of proceedings initiated involved parties from other countries. The constant activity of international companies in Brazil (and vice versa), as well as the increasing use of alternative dispute resolution (ADRs) methods in the country, are some of the reasons that explain this trend.

This global vision has already been present in CAM-CCBC for at least fifteen years, according to the Center’s Deputy Secretary General, Luíza Kömel. “The knowledge that is acquired from this exchange of information with other countries is invaluable for the development of domestic arbitration. And, likewise, the development of arbitration in Brazil impacts the practice in other countries”, she evaluates.

One of the ways in which this exchange of information takes place is through participation in international events. Since 2009 CAM-CCBC traditionally supports Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (Vis Moot), the most important international arbitration competition, which brings together in Vienna and Hong Kong students from over 300 law schools around the world. In addition, the Center also organizes or supports pre-moots – which are “warm-up sessions” for teams to prepare their cases presentation before the events abroad. Although these competitions were held virtually this year, they have enhanced the Center’s international activities. In 2020 two pre-moots were organized by CAM-CCBC.

Exchange of experiences

By allowing access to ADRs practices that have been successful abroad or seeking ways to face common challenges, the constant exchange of information on ADRs with professionals and institutions from other countries is enriching. In August, the Center attended in an online event promoted by Angolan Center for Mediation and Arbitration of Labor Conflicts (CAMACL), with the purpose of celebrating the four years of Conflict Mediation and Conciliation Law in that country. In 2019, CAM-CCBC had already visited that country to give lectures.

Two months later, the last edition of São Paulo Arbitration Week (SPAW) featured the Seventh Portugal-Brazil Arbitration Seminar, in collaboration with the Commercial Arbitration Center (CAC)  of  the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. On that occasion, it was possible to strengthen the existing ties between the arbitration communities of Brazil and Portugal.

This exchange of experiences is possible by the cooperation agreements that CAM-CCBC maintains with more than 15 international institutions from countries and territories such as Germany, Chile, Spain, the United States, Hong Kong, Italy, Peru and Portugal, among others. In this way, the Center always seeks to be up to date with the best ADR practices available abroad – and can also spread its own experiences in the Brazilian market.

Some of the international institutions that CAM-CCBC integrates are the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and International Federation of Commercial Arbitration Institutions (IFCAI). “We have been present at the ICCA congresses held over the past six years, sending representatives and setting up stands. As part of our partnership with CIArb, we offer courses and accreditations through which ADR professionals can participate in international cases. And we are still represented at IFCAI – in the past we had a former president of CAM-CCBC working on the entity’s board”, says Kömel.

In 2021, the Center will maintain its international activities, although some of these initiatives such as the pre-moots in São Paulo and Hamburg, the Vis Moot in Vienna and Hong Kong, and the CIArb accreditations, even though some of them may  be carried out in a virtual way, due to the propagation of Covid-19. “CAM-CCBC will also continue to promote webinars including international guests”, adds Kömel.