Chuck says ar­bi­tra­tion could be a game changer

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

MIN­IS­TER OF Jus­tice Del­roy Chuck has said ar­bi­tra­tion can be­come a game changer in the set­tle­ment of domestic com­mer­cial dis­putes and in­ter­na­tional trade mat­ters, pro­vid­ing the coun­try with a ma­jor source of for­eign ex­change earn­ings.

He was giv­ing a state­ment in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives on Wed­nes­day on the Ar­bi­tra­tion Bill which was tabled.

The bill seeks to re­peal the act of 1900 and re­place it with a mod­ern leg­is­la­tion that will pro­vide an ef­fec­tive non-ju­di­cial mech­a­nism for set­tling dis­putes be­tween con­tract­ing par­ties.

It is based on the pro­vi­sions of the model law pub­lished by the United Na­tions Com­mis­sion on In­ter­na­tional Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and will op­er­ate in conjunction with the Ar­bi­tra­tion (Recog­ni­tion and En­force­ment of For­eign Awards) Act as well as the In­vest­ment Dis­putes Awards (En­force­ment) Act.

Chuck said the leg­is­la­tion will re­in­force the Govern­ment’s path to­wards a more sus­tain­able and de­vel­oped busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment.

“Ja­maica has been plod­ding along with an out­dated ar­bi­tra­tion regime in which in­vestors have found no con­fi­dence. We need to move to­wards the adop­tion of the UNCITRAL model law, which has been ac­cepted in over 70 coun­tries world­wide and over 100 ju­ris­dic­tions,” he said.

BEN­E­FITS OF THE BILL

With the pass­ing of this bill, Ja­maica will join the large num­ber of coun­tries that have adopted the model law and, as such, will ben­e­fit from the in­ter­na­tion­ally agreed best prac­tices that are dis­sem­i­nated and pro­moted by UNCITRAL on an on­go­ing ba­sis.

Chuck noted that in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion is cho­sen as the pre­ferred dis­pute-res­o­lu­tion method for cross-bor­der dis­putes be­cause awards are en­force­able un­der the New York Con­ven­tion in more than 148 coun­tries around the world.

He said ar­bi­tra­tion re­sults in faster res­o­lu­tion of dis­putes, the process is flex­i­ble, it in­volves sim­pli­fied rules of ev­i­dence and pro­ce­dure, and the par­ties to the dis­pute usu­ally agree on the ar­bi­tra­tor(s).

Mean­while, Chuck noted that mea­sures are be­ing put in place to en­sure that once the bill is passed, there will al­ready be an es­tab­lished and mod­ernised venue to host ar­bi­tra­tion dis­putes and fa­cil­i­tate train­ing.

The Mona In­ter­na­tional Cen­tre for Ar­bi­tra­tion and Me­di­a­tion (MICAM) launched its op­er­a­tions on Thurs­day and will be host­ing a con­fer­ence to­day un­der the theme ‘Ca­pac­ity Build­ing for Progress: Lever­ag­ing Ar­bi­tra­tion for Na­tional and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment’.

The MICAM will con­duct sev­eral train­ing pro­grammes geared to­wards en­sur­ing that Ja­maica has a cred­i­ble and well­trained cadre of ar­bi­tra­tors.

CHUCK

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