Government working to enact arbitration bill

The government will soon enact the International Commercial Arbitration Bill, as it steers the country towards becoming an international arbitration center, a move that could diversify the country’s economic model and become a foundation for new investments, a press statement from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Bahamas Branch explained.

The branch recently met virtually with Minister of Economic Affairs Michael Halkitis and Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Ryan Pinder and were updated on the legislation, which supports a framework for alternative dispute resolution through arbitration and mediation.

The statement also explained that during the meeting, attendees discussed the establishment of a center for alternative dispute resolution as a public-private partnership, as well as creating a registry for dispute resolution professionals, and also the inclusion of alternative dispute resolution clauses within government contract.

Halkitis said the legislation will work to improve The Bahamas’ competitiveness.

“Our transformative plans require us to make large strides towards building a viable framework in which our policies and initiatives will operate,” Halkitis said.

“Businesses and investors interested in The Bahamas want to know that, should a dispute arise, there are appropriate mechanisms in place for their disagreements to be resolved in an efficient, cost-effective way. That is why it is so important for us to fully develop an empowered alternative dispute resolution professional community as we accelerate our agenda.”

The statement explains that the legislation incorporates United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) model law and will position The Bahamas “as a preferred jurisdiction for international commercial arbitration”.

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Bahamas Branch comprises more than 80 members, including 16 fellows, with four members appointed as approved faculty. The local branch has been a strategic partner of the government for several years.

“As we make progress on our slate of reforms, collaborative efforts with organizations like the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators will be the driving force behind effective policy development,” said Halkitis.

“We will continue to engage these important stakeholders throughout our term in office, relying on their subject matter expertise to better inform our work. We look forward to what we can achieve together.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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