Supreme court endorses arbitration
July 07 2023
arbitration for consumer complains

In a recent decision, Colombia’s Supreme Court has endorsed and upheld arbitration clauses in standard-form consumer contracts. Specifically, the Supreme Court held that arbitration does not violate consumer rights as it is an effective and efficient alternative dispute resolution mechanism that guarantees its users an expedited procedure before a specialized juror, free of charge if requested, and does not require a legal representative to file the claim.

This decision alters the debate regarding the arbitrability of consumer-related disputes in Colombia as the Court ruled that arbitration agreements are not abusive and do not violate the rights of the consumers since the abusiveness of a contractual provisions requires an imbalance in detriment of consumer’s rights.

This ruling reaffirms arbitration as an effective mechanism capable of guaranteeing the rights of consumers through a specialized procedure. Several national arbitration centers have adopted rules for arbitration arising from consumer contracts that allow the parties to resolve their dispute through a simplified procedure.