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Mauritius – A destination of choice for Arbitration

The Mauritian legal system is a composite system of laws which blends both the French civil law and the British common law practices, characterized by a duality of concepts – the French substantive laws and the English procedural laws, respectively. In addition to its welcoming legal framework and ideal geographical position at the crossroads of Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Mauritius boasts a bilingual population and state of the art facilities and ICT infrastructure which makes the island a destination of choice for regional and international arbitration.

Arbitration is now growing into the preferred dispute resolution avenue of most high scale industries and multinationals due to its multiple advantages over traditional dispute resolution through court litigation, namely:

  • Arbitration typically provides a speedier resolution than proceeding in court;
  • It is less costly as it aims at providing expeditious resolution;
  • Arbitration proceedings are confidential and offer more privacy to the parties as opposed to the public nature of court proceedings;
  • Arbitrators tend to provide greater level of expertise as compared to a judge, because arbitrators are appointed from the bunch of the professionals who have specialized knowledge of the particular trade or business in question, thereby boosting confidence and trust of businessmen in proceedings and the resulting award;
  • An arbitration award is final and binding;
  • Arbitration provides a neutral jurisdiction choice, such as Mauritius, which comes in handy when establishing international contracts.

Mauritius hosts two arbitration institutions in its capital, Port-Louis: Mediation and Arbitration Center (MARC) and the Mauritius International Arbitration Centre (MIAC), both governed by the International Arbitration Act 2008 (IAA), amended by the International Arbitration (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013. Moreover, Mauritius is a party to the New York Convention as well as the ICSID Convention.

The Mediation and Arbitration Center (MARC)

MARC is the independent Alternative Dispute Resolution arm of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI). Its objectives are to offer quality and cost-efficient dispute resolution services to businesses via mediation and/or arbitration; to provide training in alternative dispute resolution methods; and to promote arbitration and mediation at local, regional and international levels. MARC is now a well-established Arbitral Institution that is well regarded by corporations, governments, the legal sector and other private sector stakeholders in Mauritius and the Indian Ocean region.

The Mauritius International Arbitration Centre (MIAC)

The Mauritius International Arbitration Centre (MIAC) brings the highest level of dispute resolution services to the international community. From its establishment in 2011 until 2018, MIAC operated as part of a joint venture with the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre). MIAC has operated as an independent arbitration centre since 27 July 2018, drawing on the significant expertise gained during this initial phase of its development.

The MIAC Arbitration Rules are based on the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 2010, which are widely tried and tested, and permit the predictability and procedural flexibility that are desired by parties.

Both the MARC and the MIAC administer arbitrations in several languages and offer state-of-the-art arbitration tribunal facilities as well as high-speed internet connection allowing hearings to be conducted online.

Author: Ashiv Parianen, Senior Legal adviser, Centurion Law Group Mauritius.

Feel free to contact Keseena Chengadu, Executive Director, Centurion Law Group Mauritius with questions: