Arbitration in Guatemala

Updated: Aug 12

By Juan Pablo Véliz Escobar and Paula Ibargüen Ponce, associates of the Aguilar Castillo Love Guatemala arbitration team. AGUILAR CASTILLO LOVE

This paper is available in ENGLISH, PORTUGUESE and SPANISH

Arbitration in Guatemala [1] • English Language Version

I. Preamble

In countries such as Guatemala, where access to justice is undermined due to the growing judicial delay and the lack of legal certainty triggered by the changing criteria of the state jurisdictional bodies; arbitration has been presented as a suitable solution for the resolution of disputes. This alternative method of dispute resolution is not a new one for the Guatemalan jurisdiction. For several centuries, the Guatemalan legal system has recognized and regulated arbitration from a constitutional level, and increasingly through various lower-ranking regulations pertaining to specific sectors and industries.

The purpose of this paper, beyond being an exhaustive dissertation on arbitration in Guatemala, is to provide the reader with an overview of the regulation of arbitration at the level of general legislation (i); specific regulation according to the matter in question (ii); and, finally, the areas that have undergone regulatory reforms that contemplate the possibility of submitting disputes to arbitration (iii).

II. Arbitration and its regulation in Guatemala

Constitutional Regulation

Like other countries in the Latin American region, the power to impart justice has typically been associated as an exclusive power of the state jurisdiction. However, and as a starting point, it is necess