National and International Arbitration in Panama


Panama is recognized as a world hub for trade and commerce, and Law 131 of December 31st, 2013 positions the country as a modern international arbitration center. This law incorporates worldwide standards, practices and principles to national and international arbitration in Panamanian territory.

The arbitration process offers a faster and specialized alternative to the ordinary justice system. The involved parties present their cases to an arbitrator or panel that reviews all the evidence and reaches a decision that is legally binding.

In Panamanian laws, parties involved in the arbitration process are bound to respect the decision reached by the arbitrators. The same is true to Panamanian Courts, unless the decision attempts against public order. For that reason, parties pursuing arbitration are strongly advised to have a qualified legal advisor.

Under Law 131, national arbitration takes place when all the parties involved are subject to Panamanian Laws. On the other hand, international arbitration happens when one or more of the parties involved are not subject to Panamanian law – this means, they are established in a jurisdiction other than Panama.

The arbitration could also be considered international when the parties involved expressly agree that the arbitration subject is related to more than one State or jurisdiction, or when the place of performance of contractual obligations is outside of Panama.

Some dispute resolution centers highly renowned in the Panamanian business community include the Center of Conciliation and Arbitration of Panama, located in the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Panama, and the Center of Conflict Resolution, located in the Panamanian Construction Chamber.

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Kraemer & Kraemer can advise and guide you in commercial, industrial or real estate arbitration processes, whether national or international. Contact our team today to better understand your case and discuss a plan of action, or to understand more details about arbitration in Panama.

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