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126-02, concerning e-Commerce and Digital Documents and Signatures.
The country is divided into 12 Judicial Departments, each one headed by a Court of Appeals with jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters.
Few examples exist where government officials are held responsible for not paying a recognized claim or not paying the claim in a timely manner. S.-Dominican Trade and Investment Council meetings in October 2002 prompted the Dominican government to establish procedures under a 1999 law to issue bonds to settle claims against the Dominican government dating from before August 16, 1996, including claims for expropriated property. In 2002, the Dominican Republic became signatory to the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention).
Investor-State Dispute Settlement The Dominican Republic has entered into several bilateral investment treaties, most of which contain dispute resolution provisions that submit the parties to arbitration.
The right of access to justice is a constitutional right granted by Article 69 of the Constitution.
It provides that every person, including foreigners, has the right to appear in court.
CEI-RD, which aims to be a one-stop-shop for investment information, registration, and investor after-care services, maintains a user-friendly website for guidance on the government’s priority sectors for inward investment and on the range of investment incentives (CEI-RD).
Some investors complain that the local court system is unreliable, biased against them, and that special interests and powerful individuals are able to use the legal system in their favor. firms indicate that corruption on all levels – business, government, and judicial – impedes their access to justice to defend their interests. These disputes are often the result of the firm seeking to end the relationship in accordance with the contract, and the distributor using the injunction as a way of obtaining a more beneficial settlement. In order to effectively engage in the Dominican market, many U. companies seek local partners that are well-connected and understand the local business environment.
Regardless of whether they are located in a free-trade zone, companies have problems with dispute resolution, both with the Dominican government and with private-sector entities. The World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Competitiveness report ranked the Dominican Republic 127th out of 138 countries in judicial independence and 112th in efficiency of the legal framework in settling disputes.
Nonetheless, efforts to establish the rule of law in many sectors of the economy have been impeded, or in some cases, soundly defeated by special interests. As another example, in 2013, the Dominican government rescinded permits for a U. investors cited the Dominican government’s repeated failure to pay compensation for or return expropriated land, even though valid court orders had been obtained.
For example, in 2008, the government refused to enforce a court ruling to halt an illegal blockade of a U. S.-owned tourism and real estate development and declared large swaths of the land as a national park. Many investors, both Dominican and foreign, consider that influence through political contacts trumps formal systems of regulation.