Mauritius is a centre of excellence for international arbitration in Africa.
Mauritius has developed a remarkable legal system for international arbitration. In 2008, the country adopted the Mauritian International Arbitration Act, 2008 (the Act), a state-of-the-art arbitration law based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, with refinements to make the Mauritian legal system for international arbitration as supportive and attractive as possible. The Act entrusts the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration with the power to appoint arbitrators and to take other measures relating to the arbitral proceedings as provided in Parts III and V of the Act. It also provides that a special group of Designated International Arbitration Judges of the Supreme Court will hear all matters under the Act. For a copy of the Act, click here.
As a venue for hearings and meetings, the tropical paradise of Mauritius makes for an exquisite destination. The country, located at the crossroads of Africa and Asia, is endowed with world-famous beaches, volcanic mountains, world class hotels, historic buildings and estates, and a bilingual legal community well-versed in both common and civil law traditions. Additionally, Mauritius is well-connected to the global community, with numerous direct flights from Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
In 2016, Mauritius hosted the 23rd Congress of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA)–the largest and most significant conference devoted to international arbitration. This Congress brought together practitioners, experts, and businesspeople from around the world in this unique place, to continue the important mission of shaping the future of international arbitration. In his Keynote Speech, Ban Ki-moon, the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, remarked that:
“This is the first time in the ICCA’s 50 year history that your Congress is being held in Africa. The choice of Mauritius as a place for such an important gathering reflects the country’s achievements in the field. Arbitration is only possible when there’s a sound legislative framework supported by the relevant infrastructure. Mauritius has developed that framework and infrastructure quickly over the past 10 years.”
Mauritius (Port Louis) has recently been listed as the only safe seat of arbitration in the African Union in a list of 40 safe seats worldwide published by GAR award-winning arbitral institution Delos following publication of its Guide to Arbitration Places, covering 58 national jurisdictions.