The new MIAC
The London Centre for International Arbitration (the “LCIA”) and the Government of Mauritius have come to a mutual agreement to terminate the joint venture that had led to the establishment of the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre in Mauritius in 2011. The effective date of termination was 27 July 2018. The Mauritius International Arbitration Centre (the “MIAC”) will thereafter commence operations as an independent arbitration centre. The MIAC will be supported by an advisory body which will be chaired by Professor Emmanuel Gaillard.
In practical terms, the termination of the joint venture will imply, by default, that:
- the resolution of disputes falling under any arbitration agreement/clause entered into before 27 July 2018 will be administered by the LCIA. Parties who wish to avoid this will have to revise their existing arbitration agreements/clauses;
- contracting parties are expected not to conclude any arbitration agreements/clauses providing for LCIA- MIAC arbitration;
- arbitration of disputes falling under any arbitration agreement/clause concluded between 27 July 2018 and 31 August 2018 and inadvertently providing for LCIA-MIAC arbitration will be administered by the LCIA;
- the resolution of disputes falling under any arbitration agreement/clause concluded as from 1 September 2018 and inadvertently providing for LCIA-MIAC arbitration will be administered by the MIAC.
The MIAC has released its arbitration rules which are based on the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 2010 and came into effect on the 27 July 2018. The MIAC Arbitration Rules designate the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration as appointing authority for the purposes, among others, of the constitution of the arbitral tribunal and hearing challenges to the appointment of an arbitrator.
MARC launches new rules
In parallel, the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry Arbitration and Mediation Centre (“MARC”) has recently unveiled a number of changes which aim to propel the centre as a key dispute resolution centre in the region. During the first edition of the Mauritius Arbitration Week it organised earlier this year, MARC launched its new rules, which, among other things, provide for:
an expedited procedure for claims of less than MUR25-million (around USD720 000 at time of publication);
- an emergency arbitrator procedure to adjudicate upon applications for urgent interim and conservatory relief;
- a procedure for summary dismissal of claims or defences;
- a procedure for joinder of parties and consolidation of cases;
- the possibility of blind appointment of arbitrators so that the latter remain unaware of whom of the parties has appointed them;
- the possibility for parties to appoint arbitrators who are not on the list of MARC arbitrators.
MARC has recently reviewed its structures and a MARC Court, chaired by Neil Kaplan QC, and an advisory board, chaired by Sarah Grimmer, have been introduced. MARC has also announced that Lord Neuberger, former President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, has just joined the MARC Court.