The chosen arbitral seat is one of the most important features of an arbitration clause, and dozens of jurisdictions around the world are competing to be the seat of choice for international arbitrations. The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) has provided parties and legislators a loose framework to determine what is (and what is not) a “safe” arbitral seat, referencing factors that concern the domestic legal framework for arbitration, the competency of the courts and matter of party convenience. Italy has never been able to position itself as a preferred arbitral seat for various reasons, but this is starting to change. In late 2021 Italy modernized its arbitration law, reforming key elements of its Code of Civil Procedure that govern domestic and international arbitrations. While these efforts bring Italy in line with other, more preferred arbitral seats, it remains to be seen whether these efforts will improve the perception of Italy as a “safe” seat. To be sure, however, it is a positive step in the right direction.
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