First Roundtable Discussion Group
Organized by YIAG, ICC YAF and Young ICCA, and held in Port Louis, Mauritius.
The following experts and young arbitration practitioners attended:
- John Beechey, President, ICC International Court of Arbitration, Paris
- Albert Jan van den Berg, partner Hanotiau & van den Berg, Brussels
- Dustin Bhoyrul, Barrister, associate at Appleby, Mauritius
- Amir Ghaffari, YIAG co-Chair, Shearman & Sterling LLP, Paris
- Nathalie Harel-Grion, Barrister, foreign lawyer at Trench Rossi Watanabe Adv. associated with Baker & McKenzie, Brazil
- Anne-Sophie Jullienne, Barrister, BLC Chambers, Mauritius
- Matthias Kuscher, Legal Counsel, Permanent Court of Arbitration
- Jan Paulsson, President ICCA, principal consultant Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Bahrain
- Marike Paulsson, Counsel, Hanotiau & van den Berg/ Young ICCA
- Jamsheed Peeroo, researcher, Sorbonne Law School, Paris and Barrister, Chambers of A.R.M.A Peeroo SC GOSK, Mauritius
- The Right Honourable the Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, London
- Rajeev Sharma-Fokeer, Barrister, Partner at FTPA, Paris
- Hon Bernard Sik Yuen, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Malaysia
- Adrian Winstanley, Director General of the London Court of International Arbitration, London
Post Event Report
by Nathalie Harel-Grion, Jamsheed Peeroo and Marike Paulsson
On 15 December a roundtable co-organised by Young ICCA, ICC YAF and YIAG was held in Mauritius, shortly after the Conference on International Arbitration held on 13 and 14 December as part of the Mauritian Government's commitment to launch Mauritius as an international arbitration center.
The panel of speakers consisted of eminent international arbitration practitioners (Jan Paulsson, John Beechey, Adrian Winstanley and Albert Jan Van Den Berg), the head of the Judiciaries of England and Mauritius (the Right Honourable Lord Philips of Worth Matravers and Honourable Chief Justice Bernard Sik Yuen), the permanent representative of the PCA in Mauritius (Matthias Kuscher) and four young Mauritian arbitration lawyers who have gained substantial experience in London and Paris (Nathalie Harel-Grion, Anne-Sophie Jullienne, Jamsheed Peeroo and Rajeev Sharma-Fokeer).
It is worth remembering that with the enactment of the International Arbitration Act 2008 based on the UNCITRAL Model Law with some innovative features adopted to best serve the interests of international users, Mauritius has already taken significant steps to establish itself as a jurisdiction of choice for foreign parties wishing to have their disputes resolved by way of arbitration.
In that context, one of the aims of the round table was to discuss with lawyers from Mauritius and the region some of the main issues relating to international arbitration in order to raise awareness of the fact that they have the opportunity to become key actors in the development of international arbitration in Mauritius and the region.
This role of local practitioners was one of the main points of the welcome address opening the roundtable. The first part of the programme then started with the necessary presentation of the Mauritian context and its close relationship with international arbitration and continued with related topics such as the drafting of an appropriate clause with a choice of the right seat, the efficient conduct of the arbitral procedure, the specific role of the PCA’s office based in Mauritius, the role of institutions such as the ICC and LCIA and the issue of costs and efficiency in the arbitral process.
During the second part of the roundtable, several proposals for reform in relation to the role of state courts in the enforcement of the awards emerged from the debates which followed a short presentation by Prof. A. J. Van den Berg’s of selected aspects of his Miami draft.
The interactive discussions between the panel and the numerous lawyers at the event demonstrated the eagerness of Mauritian lawyers to take the new Mauritian International Arbitration Act from theory to practice and their willingness to be an integral part of this challenging and ambitious project.
The debates were then closed by Marike Paulsson, who, taking advantage of the very cordial atmosphere at the roundtable, apologised in the name of the Dutch for the extinction of the Dodo bird (a bird endemic to Mauritius) in the 17th century when Mauritius was under Dutch control.
Swift action is already being taken in the wake of the roundtable such as the setting up of an international arbitration association by the four Mauritian lawyers named above. One of them, Jamsheed Peeroo, is also contributing to the drafting of new user friendly civil procedure rules for the country with the aim of guaranteeing fast and efficient access to courts in aid of arbitration.
Such initiatives and enthusiastic participation will no doubt contribute to establishing Mauritius as a very modern and highly reputable seat for international arbitration in a near future.
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