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Arbitration enjoys a long tradition in Spain.2 It has been consistently recognized by and promoted throughout historical laws3 as an alternative method for dispute resolution. The recognition of arbitration in legal texts can be traced to Spanish medieval law.4Breviario de Alarico, or Lex Romana Visigothorum,5 promulgated on February 2, 506, and Liber Iudiciorum,6 among others, acknowledged that the value of arbitration was definitively enshrined in the fundamental Siete Partidas.7 Since then, a series of famous arbitral awards – Compromiso de Caspe 1321 and 1363 (the Covenant of Caspe), Sentencia Arbitral de Guadalupe 1486 (the Arbitral Award of Guadalupe) – and regal laws in Castile fostered the institution by ordering the enforcement of commitments agreed by the parties (Ordenanza de Madrid of 1502). These legal and arbitral decisions paved the way to the incorporation of the institution of arbitration into the Novísima Recopilación (1804).8 The resort to arbitration for solving disputes among merchants and guilds, as a response to their aversion to ordinary courts, gave a lot of impetus to arbitration during that period.
This chapter acts as a capstone to Part IV’s presentation of country reports. It presents the findings of a comparative analysis of arbitration laws in the different countries reported. This analysis focuses on the different issues presented in Parts I–III, including scope and interpretation of arbitration clauses, anti-arbitration laws and policies, arbitrator bias and misconduct, the public policy exception, and other limits on arbitrability. Thus, the country reports are reviewed here to determine areas of commonality and divergences across national laws relating to judicial intervention into the arbitration process. It will also assess possible trends in international commercial arbitration.
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