16 Currents: Int'l Trade L.J. 70 (2007-2008)
The Euro-American Court of Arbitration: Can It Compete in the Large Market of International Commercial Arbitration

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I. INTRODUCTION

History is a key legitimator in the
legal field. No one can compete with
tradition without ending up underscoring
that one group is a new arrival and
another is the established elite, akin to the
aristocracy.'''
The ICC International Court of
Arbitration (ICC Court) is the elite
court of international arbitration and,
it has gained universal acceptance as a
neutral and legitimate institution.  The
new arrival of the Euro-American Court
of Arbitration (Euro-American Court),
is subject to challenge by the tradition set
by the ICC Court. As its name implies, the
Euro-American Court is intended to exploit
Spain's unique position as a bridge between
Europe and the Americas..2 Yet, like any
international arbitration institution, it may
administer its proceedings in relation to
any commercial dispute, in any part of
the world.' Rather than wait for history
to legitimize the Euro-American Court's
presence, one way to predict the future
success of the Court is to examine its
rules. After all, the characteristic features
of the ICC arbitration rules have remained
essentially unchanged over the years.'

Part I will provide background on the
economic, legislative, and institutional
changes within Spain that stimulated the
creation of the Euro-American Court. Part
II will introduce the four essential factors that
a potential party to international arbitration
must take into account in choosing the
right institution. These factors include the
competency of the arbitrators, enforcement
mechanisms, cost, and the place of arbitration.
Part III, IV, V, and VI will analyze each of
the above mentioned factors in relation to the
ICC Court and the Euro-American Court.
Finally, Part VII concludes that the Euro-
American Court is an excellent alternative to
the ICC Court for two kinds of arbitrations:
(i) disputes between commercial enterprises
in two or more countries, one of which is
in Latin America; and (ii) any dispute that
will be conducted exclusively or primarily
in Spanish.'

II. BACKGROUND

A. SPAIN'S ECONOMIC EXPANSION WITH
FOREIGN INVESTMENT
Spain's admittance into the European
Union (E.U.') on January 1, 1986 was the
pivotal event that allowed her to gain the
new economic clout she has today.' Once a

member of the E.U., Spain adopted the euro
and enjoyed many benefits that come with
a stronger currency, including lower interest
rates and cheap financing.' In response
to easily accessible cash, the government
deregulated key sectors of society and
opened up the private sector.8 Today, Spain
is one of the fastest growing economies
in the European Union.' The country has
had a 3.6% GDP annual increase in the
last decade,10 and since 2005 has ranked
second in the world for tourism and 17'
in the world for foreign direct investment'2
Although Spain was placed on the same
level as her other European counterparts,
two important factors have contributed to
her exceptional economic success. First,
the government's efforts to quickly open
up the domestic market; and second, the
audacity of Spanish companies to use Latin
America as training ground, gaining size and
management skills.
In the spirit of Hernin Cort&s and his
conquest of the Americas, the Spanish
returned to their former empire in 1999.16
But, this time their object was not as
grandiose as a claim to the land; instead,
Spanish companies hoped to conquer
the market - and that they did. Since
the opportune wave of Latin American
privatization in 1999, Spain has become

m2
Cu'RRL.NTs SU.-,WLR 2007

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