About Us

Home > About Us

The PAC has its genesis in an amendment to the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras in 2013 and the Organic Law, which provide the legal framework for the creation of a new type of administrative division in Honduras known as a Zone of Employment and Economic Development (Zona de Empleo y Desarrollo Económico) (“ZEDE”). Although ZEDEs remain subject to the national government, they possess a high degree of administrative and functional autonomy, including their own economic and political systems and an autonomous and independent court system with exclusive jurisdiction over them.

The Constitution of the Republic of Honduras and the Organic Law also incorporate arbitration as the default method of dispute resolution and accord arbitration awards the equivalence of the judgments of domestic and international courts.

In late 2019, the Próspera ZEDE, the first ZEDE officially authorized by the Government of Honduras pursuant to the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras and the Organic Law, contracted the PAC as the default arbitration services provider for the Próspera ZEDE required by the Organic Law. The result is that the PAC is authorized to decide all cases of a contractual nature arising in the Próspera ZEDE unless specifically stipulated otherwise; and it is leveraging this historic role to provide arbitration services to individuals and companies involved in disputes throughout Latin America and around the world.

Mission / Vision

The mission and vision of the PAC is not circumscribed by its role as the default arbitration services provider or the geographical bounds of the Próspera ZEDE. In fact, quite the contrary—the aim of the PAC is to leverage these to affect a much broader positive global impact:

Our Mission

Our mission is to offer high quality Alternative Dispute Resolution based on cost-effective, efficient and fair procedures to spur socio-economic development in Honduras specifically and Latin America generally and their greater integration into the global economy.

Our Vision

Our vision is to strengthen the Rule of Law in Latin America and globally by advancing the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution in the region through educational endeavors and by evidencing its myriad benefits.

For ADR
Contact Us

Our
Roster of Arbiters

John Gemmill

John Gemmill

Senior Arbiter

Senior Arbiter John Gemmill sat on the Arizona Court of Appeals from 2001 to 2018. His colleagues elected him Vice Chief Judge of the Division from 2003 to 2006 and Chief Judge from 2006 to 2008. Prior to this, Senior Arbiter Gemmill spent 26 years in private practice with Teilborg, Sanders & Parks, P.C., where he handled personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, insurance, and commercial litigation and obtained considerable jury trial and appellate experience, plus substantial mediation experience. He has received numerous awards, including the Judicial Excellence Award from the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel in 2014, and induction into the Maricopa County Bar Association Hall of Fame in 2015.

Senior Arbiter Gemmill received his B.Sc. (Agr.) and J.D. from the University of Arizona.

Kenneth Mangum

Kenneth Mangum

Senior Arbiter

Senior Arbiter Kenneth Mangum sat on the Superior Court of Maricopa County, Arizona, from 1991 to 2011. His broad experience included serving on the four major departments of the Superior Court (i.e., civil, criminal, family, and juvenile). Prior to this, Senior Arbiter Mangum spent 13 years in private practice with Robbins & Green, from 1977 to 1990, and he also served as a Navy JAG officer from 1972 to 1976. Senior Arbiter Mangum then returned to litigation as a Deputy County Attorney in 2011, handling civil litigation and defending the county directly and its employees in trials and by motion practice. During his time on the Superior Court of Maricopa County, Senior Arbiter Mangum was honored by consistently being ranked among the highest in judicial evaluations. Senior Arbiter Mangum is a Spanish-speaker.

Senior Arbiter Mangum received his B.A. from Brigham Young University and his J.D. from the University of Chicago.

John Pelander

John Pelander

Senior Arbiter

Senior Arbiter John Pelander served on the Arizona Supreme Court from 2009 to 2019. Prior to this, Senior Arbiter Pelander was a judge in the Arizona Court of Appeals from 1995 to 2009. Senior Arbiter Pelander also spent 18 years in private practice as a partner at Slutes, Browning Sakrison & Grant, P.C., from 1981 to 1984 and as partner at Slutes, Sakrison, Grant & Pelander, P.C., from 1984 to 1995. He has received numerous awards for his illustrious career in law, including the Citation Award, Wittenberg University, 2010; the Professional Achievement Award, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, 2010; and the Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, 2007.

Senior Arbiter Pelander received his B.A. from Wittenberg University; his J.D. from the University of Arizona; and his LL.M. from the University of Virginia.

Susanna Dokupil

Susanna Dokupil

Arbiter

Arbiter Susanna Dokupil currently consults on political, public relations, fundraising, and business strategy as Chief Executive Officer of Paladin Strategies. Prior to this, her myriad roles have included Special Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee in 2010, Assistant Solicitor General in the Office of the Texas Attorney General from 2006 to 2009 and Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Texas Attorney General from 2004 to 2006. She was also a Texas State Representative candidate from 2016 to 2017 and a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 2000 to 2001.

Arbiter Dokupil received her B.A. and M.A. from Baylor University; her J.D. from Harvard Law School; and her M.P.S. from George Washington University.

Martin Klapper

Martin Klapper

Arbiter

Arbiter Martin Klapper is an Australian lawyer and works with a domestic and international client base and advises on significant mining and public infrastructure projects and disputes. With more than 30 years’ experience, Arbiter Klapper has developed a reputation as one of the most effective and sought-after energy and resources lawyers in Australia. He was named as a leading Australian Energy and Resources Lawyer in Chambers Asia-Pacific from 2012 to 2015 and 2017 to 2019 and ranked in The International Who’s Who of Oil & Gas Lawyers for many years.

Arbiter Klapper received his B.A. from St. Peter's Luther College and his LL.B. from the University of Queensland.

Ilya Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro

Arbiter

Arbiter Ilya Shapiro is a leading U.S. and international expert on constitutional law and governance structures and the head of the Cato Institute’s Robert A. Levy Centre on Constitutional Studies. Prior to this, his myriad roles have included Special Assistant/Advisor on Rule of Law Issues to the Multi-National Force-Iraq in 2007, Adjunct Professor of Legal Research and Writing at George Washington University Law School from 2005 to 2007 and Policy Staff with Bush-Cheney ‘04. He has also held positions at prestigious law firms, including Patton Boggs LLP and Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP, and was a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 2003 to 2004. Arbiter Shapiro is a Spanish-speaker.

Arbiter Shapiro received his A.B. from Princeton University; his M.Sc. from the London School of Economics; and his J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Mark Higgins

Mark Higgins

Arbiter

Arbiter Mark Higgins has been an Australian barrister at Black Chambers for the last 19 years and practices primarily criminal law, child protection and administrative law. More specifically, his criminal law practice focuses on regulatory prosecutions of corporations by various statutory authorities; his child protection practice focuses primarily on appearing for child welfare agencies; and the administrative law aspect of his practice focuses on disciplinary and sporting tribunals in most states of Australia. Prior to this, Arbiter Higgins spent 11 years in various capacities with the Legal Aid Commission of New South Wales.

Arbiter Higgins received his LL.B. from the University of Sydney and his LL.M. from the University of New South Wales.

Pablo Palma

Pablo Palma

Arbiter

Arbiter Pablo Palma is a Chilean-German lawyer and has been, among other things, a partner with Palma & Palma Abogados in Germany for the last 10 years and practices primarily real estate law, inheritance law/family law, commercial law and electronic commerce. Arbiter Palma has the distinction of being the first Chilean lawyer to obtain permission from the Berlin Bar Association to act as a legal advisor in Chilean law in Germany. Arbiter Palma is a Spanish-speaker.

Arbiter Palma received his B.A. from the Universidad del Mar (Chile); his LL.M. from Humboldt University of Berlin; and his Ph.D. from the Free University of Berlin.

Our
Divisions

Appellate Division

Senior ArbiterJohn Pelander

SUBJECT MATTER
DIVISIONS

COMMERCIAL

TORT/OTHER
CIVIL

LABOR

Eviction

CIVIL
PENALTY
(QUASI-CRIMINAL)

HAZARDOUS
ACTIVITY

Head of Division

ArbiterPablo Palma

Senior ArbiterJohn Gemmill

ArbiterMartin Klapper

ArbiterIlya Shapiro

Senior ArbiterKenneth Mangum

ArbiterMark Higgins

Type of
Adjudication

Public-Precedential
(by Default)/Private
Non-Precedential
Public-Precedential Only

Binding
Options

Arbitration/Mediation

Non-Binding
Options

Arbitration/Mediation (by Contract Only) N/A

Judicial
Hierarchy

Trial (Handled According to Claim Magnitude)/Appellate (Handled by Arbiters and Senior Arbiters Only)

Claim

Small Claim US$1,000.00 (Reserved for Arbitral Officers Only; Arbiters may Only Supervise)

Magnitude
Divisions

Minor Claim US$1,000.00 <> US$25,000.00 (Reserved for Arbitral Officers Only; Arbiters may Only Supervise)
Moderate Claim US$25,000.00 <> US$1,000,000.00 (Arbitral Officers Under Close Supervision by Arbiters)
Large Claim US$1,000,000.00 <> US$5,000,000.00 (Arbiters Under Close Supervision by Senior Arbiters/Senior Arbiters)
Extraordinary Claim US$5,000,000.00+ (Senior Arbiters Only)
Equitable Relief (Arbiters and Senior Arbiters)

Our
Standing Competence and 
Ethics Committee (“SCEC”)

John Pelander

John Pelander

Senior Arbiter, Chairman

Mark Higgins

Mark Higgins

Arbiter, Secretary

 John Gemmill

John Gemmill

Senior Arbiter, Trustee

 Kenneth Mangum

Kenneth Mangum

Senior Arbiter, Trustee

 Martin Klapper

Martin Klapper

Arbiter, Trustee

Ilya Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro

Arbiter, Trustee

 Humberto N. Macias

Humberto N. Macias

CEO, Trustee

 Nicholas C. Dranias

Nicholas C. Dranias

CLO, Trustee

How the SCEC ensures Impartiality, Integrity and Competence

The SCEC is the body that guarantees the impartiality, integrity and competence of the PAC.

Among other things, the SCEC is responsible for:

  • The appointment of Arbiters and Senior Arbiters, including the assessment of each judicial candidate’s character and competence;
  • The promotion of Arbitral Officers to Arbiter, and Arbiters to Senior Arbiter, as well as the assignment and reassignment of Arbiters and Senior Arbiters to the PAC’s alternative dispute resolution divisions;
  • The removal or suspension of Arbitral Officers, Arbiters and Senior Arbiters;
  • Promulgating and implementing ethics and disciplinary rules and policies for Arbitral Officers, Arbiters and Senior Arbiters; and
  • Receiving and adjudicating complaints filed by members of the public concerning the conduct of Artibers and Senior Arbiters in active service.

Our
Institutional Alliances