A. LEGISLATION AND RULES
International arbitration in Venezuela continues to be governed by the Commercial Arbitration Law, published in the Official Gazette of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela No. 36.430 on April 7, 1998, to which no legislative amendment has been made since. However, a new dispute board was created in 2019. This contemplates other projects of any nature contrary to prior Dispute Boards that are based on preventing engineering and construction conflicts.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Business Center for Conciliation and Arbitration (CEDCA) and the Arbitration Center of the Caracas Chamber (CACC) decided to offer the users the possibility to solve their controversies through electronic means. They have allowed their users to present their requests and pleadings as well as to conduct the hearings through electronic means. To regulate this matter, CEDCA amended its Rules for Arbitration and Conciliation and CACC dictated rules for the handling of arbitral proceedings through electronic means.
A.2 Institutions, rules and infrastructure
In Venezuela there are two main arbitration centers, the Caracas Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Center (CCC) and CEDCA, both have their head office in the city of Caracas and do not have regional offices in the rest of the country. However, there are other organizations at the regional level that provide support to the CCC and CEDCA in case it is necessary to administer some arbitration outside the city of Caracas.
The current Regulation of the CACC came into force on 1 February 2013, which was modified in 2018 in order to adjust administrative fees and arbitrators’ fees for procedures that implied a payment in foreign currency. The amendments are currently in force and have not been modified recently.
B.1 Petition for constitutional protection – Carroferta Media Group, C.A. v. Eduardo Enrique Muller. Third-Party Intervenor: TCA Services, C.A.
On 4 May 2021, the Seventh Superior Court of Caracas issued a ruling whereby it both:
- Revoked a precautionary measure issued by an emergency arbitral tribunal.
- Stated that Business Center for Conciliation and Arbitration (CEDCA) Rules are unconstitutional.
This case is still pending before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court. This is a case of great importance for the Venezuelan arbitration legal community because it allows the party against which the measure was granted to resort to the Constitutional Chamber to revoke the measures issued by an arbitration tribunal.
B.2 Petition for constitutional protection- Alimentos Polar Comercial, C.A. v. CEDCA
On 13 August 2021, the Seventh Superior Court of Caracas issued a ruling that confirmed that, in accordance with the CEDCA Rules 2013, the functions of the arbitral tribunal cease after the final award has been rendered unless a party has requested a correction, clarification or interpretation of the award. In this sense, the ordering of a supplementary calculation of damages or interest by an expert appointed by the arbitral tribunal in its final award lies outside the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal.