As an international litigation and arbitration attorney based in Miami, I’m thrilled that the Florida Legislature just passed a bill that standardizes the rules of international arbitration.
The language of the new legislation mirrors a model law developed by the U.N. Commission on International Trade Law, or UNCITRAL.
Florida is the sixth state to pass the measure after California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana and Texas. More than 50 countries follow the model law.
The primary aim of the UNICTRAL model law is to even the playing field for companies from different countries by incorporating aspects of common law and civil law. The rules have become a major catalyst in resolving international business disputes due largely to this hybrid approach.
- A special procedural regime for international commercial arbitration, which includes a substantive and territorial scope of application and provides for the delimitation of court assistance and supervision;
- Arbitration agreements, by providing a definition and form for such agreements and the enforcement of such agreements by courts;
- The composition of an arbitral tribunal; The jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal, by giving a tribunal competence to rule on its own jurisdiction and power to order interim measures and preliminary orders;
- The conduct of arbitral proceedings, by providing for fundamental procedural rights of a party, determination of the rules of procedure, and default of a party;
- The making of an award and termination of proceedings, including determination of the rules or laws applicable to the substance of the dispute;
- The sole recourse against an award by application for setting aside and the grounds for setting aside an award;and
- The recognition and enforcement of awards, including the uniform treatment of all awards irrespective of country of origin, the procedural conditions for obtaining recognition and enforcement, and the grounds for refusing recognition or enforcement
For all you out-of-state and international attorneys, the rule revision includes a provision that would allow attorneys from other states or countries to engage in international arbitration in Florida.
With South Florida’s high concentration of bilingual attorneys and easy access to Latin America, it’s a convenient spot to conduct international arbitration. Florida also boasts world class accommodations, a thriving business climate and easy access to some of the world’s major tourist attractions.
Think of Florida next time you’re drafting an international arbitration clause.