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Resourcefulness and Foresight: Mauritius Creates a Framework for International Arbitration

Submitted by on 29 Jul 2011 – 18:09

Prime Minister Dr the Hon. Navinchandra Ramgoolam

Lexie Organ

On the 28th of July the Government of the Republic of Mauritius, the Mauritius International Arbitration Centre Limited (MIAC) and the London Court of International Arbitration signed a joint agreement establishing a new arbitration centre in Mauritius, to be known as LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre.

The ceremony was marked by the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Dr the Hon. Navinchandra Ramgoolam. The Prime Minister, together with the High Commissioner Abhimanu Kundasamy and other important officials and dignitaries present at the signing all agreed that the office of Permanent Court of Arbitration, as the first tribunal for arbitration outside of The Hague, created as a result of the Host Country Agreement, is set to make a momentous contribution to the practice of international commercial arbitration throughout Africa and beyond.

That Mauritius is the right location to establish the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre is not accidental. Mauritius lies at the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Europe, but what sets this country apart is the skilled labour force, legal system, and focus on good governance that has allowed the nation to develop a foundation for superior international arbitration.

The Mauritian Government created the right legal framework to facilitate such and endeavour when the International Arbitration Act in 2008 was passed.  This act reflects the key aspects of UNCITRAL Model Law which sets the international standards for arbitration law and is acknowledged by countries all around the world with a range of legal and economic systems. Mauritius’s legal system is an unusual hybrid which incorporates both Common Law and Civil Law practice, and their independent judiciary ensures effective separation of powers and a robust legal framework where precedent for the domestic courts is set. The International Arbitration Act, combined with Mauritius’s good governance practices, ensures that the government’s only role is to facilitate an optimum environment for the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre to function openly and independently and that the Court of Arbitration will be able to mediate without the threat government interference.

The establishment and operation of the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre will bring Mauritius to the forefront of international arbitration and is a show of recognition that this country serves as a strong example for other nations in Africa and around the world for its ability to provide significant arbitration on both a domestic and international level.