International arbitration and the rule of law in Mauritius
In the 50 years' history of the International Congress and
Convention Association (ICCA), it is the first time that ICCA has
chosen an African country to host its congress. Mauritius will host
the ICCA congress between 8 and 11 May this year. Eminent speakers
from around the world will be discussing topics around the
Congress' theme "International arbitration and the rule of
law: contribution and conformity".
On Wednesday the 20th of January 2016, the Mauritius Bar
Association hosted ICCA Mauritius 2016 Pre-Congress Roadshow at the
seat of the Bar Council. The conference began with a very warm
welcome from both Mrs Lise Bosman (Executive Director, ICCA) and Ms
Ndanga Kamau (Registrar, LCIA-MIAC). The Honourable Chief Justice
delivered the keynote address at the event which was attended by
members of the Bar, including several lawyers from Juristconsult
Chambers. The Honourable Ravi Yerrigadoo, Attorney-General of
Mauritius, then addressed the topic of Mauritius being a meaningful
actor in international commercial arbitration. He reiterated that
by setting up the LCIA-MIAC in Mauritius, the government firmly
believes in Mauritius's ability to enhance the progress of
The Honourable Chief Justice Kheshore Parsad Matadeen spoke
about how just over a year ago, at the Mauritius International
Arbitration Conference in December 2014, he talked about his quest
that Mauritius becomes a centre of excellence in international
arbitration. At the International Council for Commercial
Arbitration (ICCA) 2016 Pre-Congress Roadshow, three months away
from the 23rd ICCA Congress, the Chief Justice expressed his belief
that this Congress will be a "transformative event" for
our jurisdiction and other jurisdiction in the region in the field
of International Arbitration Law.
The Congress which will be held on the Africa soil for the first
time in ICCA's more than fifty-year history, is an event that
is the highlight of the worldwide international arbitration
calendar. It will demonstrate, His Lordship mentioned, that
Mauritius is ready to take its rightful place as a centre of
excellence for international arbitration. To show the commitment of
the judiciary to support arbitration, the attendees were informed
that all the 20 Judges of the Supreme Court and 15 magistrates will
be attending ICCA Congress. There will be no sittings at the
Supreme Court on the days of Congress.
The Honourable Chief Justice stood on the principle that the
rule of law is at the heart of international arbitration. They are
intrinsically linked since international arbitration must be
governed by a system of clear and predictable laws, which are fair
and applied equally to all parties, to become an effective system
of dispute resolution between parties.
The Chief Justice placed emphasis on the role of the Judiciary
which is critical and continuous in the development of
international arbitration. According to him, the Judiciary shapes
the international arbitration law which defines the parameters of
judicial involvement in the international arbitration process.
Also, it has a role in ensuring that the procedure to access the
Courts by parties involved in arbitration is clear and does not
lead to undue delay. The Honourable Chief Justice, however,
emphasised that the responsibility for the development of
international arbitration in Mauritius does not fall to the
Judiciary. It falls to all law practitioners who stand most to
benefit from it.
In his concluding remarks, the Chief Justice emphasised that the
Judiciary and the law practitioners must work together to become
the custodians of the International Arbitration Act and to ensure
that, once the curtain comes down on the 23rd ICCA Congress,
international arbitration in Mauritius continues to develop.
At Juristconsult Chambers, we are looking forward to attending
the forthcoming ICCA Congress and sharing our experience of
international arbitration with international arbitration lawyers
who will be attending the event.
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Last year we reported that the DIFC had successfully established itself as a so called ‘conduit' jurisdiction for the enforcement of foreign and domestic arbitral awards as well as foreign money judgements.
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