The MARC/MCCI Training, held from 10 to 14 February 2020 in Sandton, Johannesburg, brought together participants and speakers from Australia, Belgium, Mauritius, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, for a five-day programme covering various aspects of international arbitration, such as efficiency in arbitration proceedings, maritime arbitration, investment arbitration, arbitrating against SOEs.
The training was organized by MARC/MCCI and was supported by White & Case (Johannesburg office), the Mumbai Center for International Arbitration and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Special Fund.
Day 1 was a general introduction to the basics of arbitration, the aim being to lay the foundations with explanations on the concept and the main principles of arbitration, the difference between ad hoc and institutional arbitration, as well as the main steps and stages of an arbitration process. Speakers were Bruce Collins QC, Zelda Hunter, Anjana Khemraz, Neeti Sachdeva, Roger Wakefield and Pierre Burger.
Day 2 was focused on introducing efficiency in international arbitration proceedings and examined sub-topics such as the arbitration agreement, procedural economy, due process, the evidentiary hearing, taking evidence, witness conferencing, with brilliant presentations by Timothy Cooke and Bruce Collins QC. A last session on interim measures was conducted by Dr Jamsheed Peeroo.
Day 3 on arbitrating against SOEs dealt with the historical background of this category of arbitration, examining topics such as state immunity, the difficulties and constraints involved in arbitrating against SOEs, enforcement of awards against SOE properties, and various strategies for handling issues that can arise out of an arbitration agreement with SOEs. The day ended with a last session on enforcement, very well led by Dr Jamsheed Peeroo.
Day 4 focused on the various aspects of an arbitration niche that was new for most, if not all of the participants, namely maritime arbitration. Conducted by Cdr Madhvendra Singh, a high officer of the Indian Navy and an independent arbitrator, these training sessions were a voyage into technical maritime contract terms and different instances of maritime contract breaches and disputes, and their resolution through arbitration. The day ended with some practical exercises for the participants.
Day 5 focused on investment arbitration, starting with its historical background, very well summarised by Dr Rajesh Sharma, before going into more practical details of actual investor-state arbitration cases – presented excellently by Hussein Haeri and Jackwell Feris. This session also benefited from the participation via video conference of Paul-Jean Le Cannu, from ICSID, who presented on ICSID arbitration, with a focus on cases in the IORA region. The session closed with Jonathan Ripley-Evans opening the debate and giving food for thought on the future of investment arbitration, in the light of recent controversies about the system, and various approaches being adopted to cater for these.
Feedback received from participants at the training include the following:
‘Perfect organisation, top-level speakers, highly recommended training program!’ - Dr Kris Wagner, Attorney-at-law & Partner, Holmes Kirby, Brussels, Belgium
‘Thank you for the opportunity to participate in such an interesting, rich and fantastic training. It was a chance to know that there is something happening in our region, related to alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and that, even being so far from each other’s, it is possible to close our distances. I will spread the information among our fellow practitioners in Mozambique and look forward to the next events.’ – Dr Gulamo Jafar, Vice-President of the Arbitration Council, Centro de Arbitragem Conciliçao e Mediaçao (CACM), Mozambique.
‘I personally think that the one week training was very insightful and up to an academic standard. I have enhanced my practical knowledge in International Arbitration. I thank the whole team including all the speakers who have shared their knowledge with us. I look forward in participating in other similar events in the future. - Aleeyah Lallmahomed, Barrister-at-Law, HS Law Chambers, Mauritius
‘A fantastic and highly useful training course. I look forward to the next one!’ – Jilly Griffiths, Solicitor, PwC Legal, Mauritius
‘A wonderful training it was. I learned so much about international arbitration in a week. The speakers were world class!! Keep up the good work.’ – Advocate Lebogang Madiba, Advocate of the High Court of South Africa
‘A great opportunity and wonderful experience’ – Khemila Narraidoo, Senior Associate-Barrister, Jurisconsult, Mauritius