Thursday, October 05, 2006

Does Brazilian law sets forth any requirements, qualifications or qualities for arbitrators?

Brazilian law does not require that potential arbitrators have particular qualifications in order to act as arbitrators, but there are a few mandatory requirements, found in Sections 13 and 14 of the Brazilian Arbitration Act ("BAA"): arbitrators must (i) have legal capacity, (ii) be trusted by the parties, and (iii) act with impartiality, independence, competence, diligence and discreetness.

To act as an arbitrator in Brazil, one doesn't need to be a lawyer or have formal legal education. Potential candidates don't need to obtain any specific qualifications to act as an arbitrator (no licensing, certification, or specific coursework is required by law). Foreigners can act as arbitrators —in arbitral proceedings or single arbitral hearings taking place in Brazil—, without any problems, as there are no restrictions under the BAA based on nationality or citizenship.

It is obvious that arbitrators must possess some particular qualities, such as experience in particular industries or sectors, and some personal and professional skills. But the particular qualities of an arbitrator should be determined by the parties themselves, in their arbitration agreement, or by the appointing authority, if it is the case.

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