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Conflict can be defined in a number of ways. Synonyms include “dispute”, “disagreement” and “controversy”. The dictionary of la Real Academia Española [the Royal Spanish Academy - the ultimate authority on the Spanish language]defines “conflicto” as “el problema, cuestión o materia en discusión” [“the problem, question or matter in dispute”].

Conflict is an essential element of arbitration, without which the latter would not exist. Thus Art. 2 of la Ley 60/2003 de Arbitraje [Spanish Arbitration Act 2003] states “son susceptibles de arbitraje las controversias sobre materias de libre disposición conforme a derecho”["disputes on matters of free disposition according to law are open to arbitration"] (Our emphasis).

In order to help parties define their dispute and understand the scope of arbitrability, the TAB provides a list, of, including a brief definition of the legal area(s) to which the conflict may belong, the most frequent causes of dispute in each area and the fields of law involved in connection with the issue in question. This list is for guidance only and is not intended to be comprehensive.