(May 12, 2015) The Brazilian Federal Senate approved a proposal on May 5, 2015 (Projeto de Lei do Senado No. 406 de 2013, Senate website), that extends the use of arbitration as a means to resolve judicial conflicts. (Mariana Jungmann, Senado Aprova Nova Lei de Arbitragem, AGÊNCIA BRASIL (May 5, 2015).)
The proposal was prepared by a group of jurists at the request of the President of the Federal Senate, Renan Calheiros, who formed a commission charged with the duty of proposing a reform of the legislation on the subject. The commission was presided over by the President of the Superior Tribunal of Justice, Luis Felipe Salomão, and its proposal amends the current Arbitration Law. (Lei No. 9.307, de 23 de Setembro de 1996, PLANALTO; Tërcio Ribas Torres, Lei de Arbitragem é Aprovada e Segue para Sanção, SENADO NOTÍCIAS (May 5, 2015).)
The idea behind the proposal is to expand the scope of application of the current law, by modernizing it to make arbitration more accessible. As a direct consequence, it is expected that there will be a reduction in the number of cases in the Brazilian courts. (Id.) The new law now must be signed by President Dilma Roussef to enter into force.