NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamas is in a unique exposition to introduce arbitration law suitable for civil and common law jurisdictions, international experts opined yesterday.
The 8th annual Arbitration and Investment Summit will be held today at the Warwick Paradise Island Resort.
Dr Peter Maynard, a past president of the Bahamas Bar Association, said: “We want to raise the consciousness of the importance of alternative dispute resolution, arbitration in particular and also indicate the connections with investment and economic development.”
Annette Magnusson, Secretary General at Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, a key presenter at today’s conference told Eyewitness News there were several key components needed before a country could assert itself as an international arbitration centre.
“To build international arbitration in a jurisdiction a you must a very strong legal framework, you must ave a modern arbitration law and have good rules for the enforcement of awards as well as a string buy-in from all the legal players to understand the value of arbitration in both a domestic and international setting,” said Magnusson.
She noted that Stockholm emerged as an arbitration centre in the 1970s during the Cold War when the former Soviet Union and the United Stats opted to use it as the place to settle their commercial disputes.
Magnusson continued: “Today we see cases from more than 40 jurisdictions in Stockholm on an annual basis; half of them are international and the rest are domestic.
“To refer to a certain jurisdiction for arbitration is an action of trust. It’s really bout building the trust,” she added.
Professor Alexander Belohlavek and Tereza Profeldova both attorneys and arbitration experts from the Czech Republic noted that The Bahamas is in a unique position to introduce arbitration law suitable for civil and common law jurisdictions, which could attract many disputes to be resolved in the country.
“The Bahamas is a great place for a seat of arbitration because of location and the base legal culture of common law however it is also close to many civil law cultures,” added Belohlavek.