Constitutional Issues Raised by Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration

Headnotes: 

Proposed legislation giving Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission (IACAC) power to amend rules which have been enacted by Congress would result in an improper delegation of legislative power to a private organization, and any amended rule could not constitutionally be applied to agreements entered into after the effective date of the amendments.

Provision in proposed legislation allowing one House of Congress to disapprove amendments to IACAC rules, although not a veto of executive action, nonetheless violates the Presentment Clauses.

An alternative review mechanism whereby the Secretary of State would be required to approve or disapprove amendments to the IACAC rules would be constitutionally acceptable, since the amendments would not be binding on the government but merely advisory.

Updated July 9, 2014