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Part 2 National and Regional Reports, Part 2.5 Latin America: Coordinated by Lauro Gama and José Antonio Moreno Rodríguez, 59 Costa Rica: Costa Rican Perspectives on the Hague Principles »

Anayansy Rojas Chan, Mauricio París
From: Choice of Law in International Commercial Contracts
Edited By: Daniel Girsberger, Thomas Kadner Graziano, Jan L Neels
This chapter assesses Costa Rican perspectives on the Hague Principles. Costa Rica does not have a systematic and codified system that regulates conflicts of law, usually known in Costa Rica as private international law (PIL). Instead, the main sources of PIL in Costa Rica are: (i) international treaties; (ii) the Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedures, and other domestic laws; and (iii) the Law on International Commercial Arbitration. In general, Costa Rica’s private international law regime, applicable to international commercial contracts, allows for parties to select the law of their choice as long as it does not breach public policy or harm a third party’s interest. According to Article 5 of the Organizational Law of the Judiciary, courts cannot excuse themselves from exercising their authority or from ruling in matters of their competence for lack of a rule to apply and they must do so in accordance with the written and unwritten rules. Unwritten rules refer to the general principles of law, usages and practices, and case law, according to the hierarchical order of their legal sources. Such rules serve to interpret, integrate, and delimit the field of application of law. Therefore, the local courts have limited themselves to only apply domestic law and have consequently restrained themselves from applying the Hague Principles or other soft law instruments as a persuasive authority source.