Mauritius: Mauritius Taking Centre Stage In International Arbitration

Last Updated: 26 July 2016
Article by Mushtaq Namdarkhan, Manisha Meetarbhan and Yohann Rajahbalee

The Congress of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (commonly known as "ICCA") is the largest regular conference devoted to international arbitration. It takes place every two years, on each occasion in a different city and country, bringing together eminent Judges, arbitrators and practitioners specialised in the field of commercial arbitration under one roof. The 23rd ICCA Congress was held in Mauritius, the first held in the African Continent in its 50 years history, from the 8th to 11th of May 2016.

By choosing Mauritius, ICCA recognised the considerable and continuing efforts of Mauritius to establish itself as a neutral and state-of-the art arbitration venue for a region of the world that could derive great benefit from more effective dispute resolution processes in light of the ever-increasing number of arbitrations involving Africa related parties and projects. ICCA Mauritius 2016 was attended by over 800 delegates, of whom about a third came from Africa.

This year's theme was centred on international arbitration's contribution to, and conformity with, the rule of law. As the new ICCA president, Mr Donald Donovan, put it in his welcome message to the delegates prior to the Congress: "We have a lot to absorb and much to gain". And indeed we did.

An intrinsic link between international arbitration and the rule of law

The principle of the rule of law is at the heart of international arbitration. They are inherent to each other since international arbitration must be governed by a system of clear and predictable laws, which are applied equally and fairly, so to constitute an effective system of dispute resolution.

Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, prominent Nobel Laureate, provided a reality check at the opening ceremony of the Congress, observing that international arbitration still requires some fine-tuning to fully conform to the rule of law and highlighting possible avenues which could improve the dispute resolution process.  These included increased transparency, an international framework in furtherance of a coherent development of case law and the possible establishment of an appellate body to correct erroneous arbitral awards. His concluding words however in respect of the ever-increasing development of international arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism were to the effect that the aim is to "strengthen the foundation, not destroy the temple".

In his first official visit in Mauritius, Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, applauded the role of the United Nations and UNCITRAL, its core legal body in the field of international commercial law, in the harmonisation and development of the Model Law on international commercial arbitration. He further saluted the strides made by Mauritius in developing its legislation in line with the global trend of internalisation of arbitration.

A panel of economists, political scientists and jurists focussed on one's necessity, both for economic development and human rights protection, to ensure the protection of the rule of law by a robust legal system. International arbitration is in effect a system separate from, and in addition to, national court systems, and offers an alternative to resolving disputes before the national courts. There is hence need for strong collaboration between national courts and arbitral tribunals to enjoy fully the ends of justice.

Participants in further lively panel sessions discussed the extent of the powers of the arbitral tribunal to ensure conformity with the rule of law, such as policing the examination of witnesses, placing limits on the length of written submissions or the volume of documentary evidence. It further emerged from the dialogues that there is a link between ineffective advocacy or poor preparation and ineffective arbitral deliberations, which in turn may result to awards open to criticisms. In that respect, practitioners in the field of international arbitration also shoulder the duty of ensuring conformity with the rule of law.

Mauritius: a window on Africa for international arbitration

Mauritius is perfectly suited to play a leading role in developing the theory and practice of international arbitration in Africa, reflecting the institutional development and economic growth of the region. The Congress was an opportunity for Mauritius to showcase the steps taken by the country over the last few years to establish itself as a venue and centre of excellence for international arbitration.

The Mauritian legal framework on international arbitration brings into play international arbitration principles, in an entirely new body of rules, completely separate from those governing domestic arbitration, and which are applied and furthered in keeping up with international principles and practices underlying the UNCITRAL Model Law. The rules and procedures under the Mauritius regime are clear, predictable and set up the conditions for a harmonious co-existence between the national court and arbitral tribunal.

The Mauritian judiciary is also keen to encourage the efficient progress of international arbitration, as facilitated by the concept of "Designated Judges", specialised in the field of international arbitration and hence safeguarding a coherent development of the jurisprudence. How did the judiciary in Mauritius perform as it took the stage? You, informed readers, are invited to peruse the book "Why Mauritius: A National Court in Support of International Arbitration"[1], which provides a comprehensive report of the salient judgments of the Supreme Court of Mauritius in matters of international arbitration to date.

To further show the commitment of the judiciary in support of international arbitration, there were no sittings at the Supreme Court of Mauritius on the days of the Congress as all the 20 Judges of the Supreme Court in addition to 15 Magistrates attended the event.

Moreover, in addition to the already existing MCCI Permanent Court of Arbitration, the creation of an office in Mauritius of the Permanent Court of Arbitration of the Hague and the launch of the LCIA-MIAC, set up in cooperation with the London Court of International Arbitration, are testimony to Mauritius' aspiration to become a major place for international arbitration.

The march towards becoming a leading venue for international arbitration, both in Africa and worldwide, has been relentless and the commitment stands firm, if not firmer. It is a long journey but Mauritius is on the right track. After all, it is marathon, not a sprint.

Footnote

[1] "Why Mauritius: A National Court in Support of International Arbitration", M. Namdarkhan, M. Meetarbhan, Y. Rajahbalee, BLC Robert & Associates, 2016

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Juristconsult Chambers
 
In association with
Practice Guides
by Mondaq Advice Centres
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Juristconsult Chambers
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions