Last year Angola was one of the five nations of sub-Saharan Africa with the highest number of cases of international arbitration related to agreements in which one of the parties involved is foreign. Even so, the number is considered low, mainly because the region accounted for only 6% of international arbitration proceedings in the world in 2018.
Experts estimate that arbitration is still little known in the Angolan corporate environment and often considered by companies as a high-cost option. However, there is a lot of room to gain popularity. Clara Bastos, CAM-CCBC’s Institutional Development Analyst, explains that the country is experiencing a moment of legislative reforms to facilitate the use of arbitration, accompanied by numerous initiatives that present the market with the advantages of arbitration proceedings.
Angola has its own arbitration law since 2003, known as the Voluntary Arbitration Law and inspired by the Portuguese law. The 2010 constitution, in turn, authorizes all types of alternative dispute resolution methods. Five years ago, the issue gained a new boost in the country when the Ministry of Justice opened the Extrajudicial Dispute Resolution Center (Centro de Resolução Extrajudicial de Litígios – CREL), an institution that conducts arbitration proceedings and disseminates arbitration in Angola.
“To follow this development closely is a great opportunity for a Brazilian arbitration institution,” says Clara.
Thus, as a reference in alternative dispute resolutions, CAM-CCBC, represented by its general secretary Patrícia Kobayashi, was present at the VIII International Arbitration Conference, held in November in the capital city, Luanda. There Patrícia shared experiences on the panel “The Arbitration Law Reform from a Comparative Perspective” (“A reforma do Direito da Arbitragem em perspectiva comparada“) and visited important institutions such as CREL itself.
Operation Car Wash joins the arbitration debate
Brazil draws the attention of the foreign arbitral community for several reasons. It is a country with a robust economy; it has a large volume of business – most of it with high potential for arbitration use. There are complex cases and high amounts in dispute, which also draws the attention of other countries.
This interest in arbitration leads to a quest to understand the Brazilian scenario as a whole. So much so that the 2nd Brazilian Arbitration Forum (2º Fórum Brasileiro de Arbitragem), held in September at the traditional Sciences Po University in Paris, included topics such as the general data protection law in Brazil and the Operation Car Wash. The panel that debated the famous investigation of corruption cases was moderated by CAM-CCBC Vice President Rodrigo Garcia da Fonseca.
CAM-CCBC debuted a partnership with the New York University (NYU) in September at the Brazilian Arbitration Day, which was attended by the Center’s President, Eleonora Coelho, as moderator of the panel on class arbitration, and the Vice President of CAM- CCBC Peter Sester. The representatives also introduced the Center to several offices based in the city.
The International Chamber of Commerce Annual Miami Conference is one of the most important meetings of the Latin American arbitration community. Eleonora attended the event in November, accompanied by CAM-CCBC Vice President Silvia Pachikoski.
The CAM-CCBC President also spoke at the Oxford Symposium on Comparative International Arbitration at the Oxford University, United Kingdom, in November. In addition to lecturing on international principles of arbitration, Eleonora visited London offices to present the CAM-CCBC.
With information from the Mercado Finance and Economy website and from the Jornal de Angola