On 8th of February, MARC hosted a RoundTable on ‘Institutional versus Ad Hoc Arbitration – The Indian and The Mauritian Perspective’, in collaboration with Nishith Desai Associates. Guest speakers were Mr. Nishith Desai, founder of the research-based strategy driven international law firm, Nishith Desai Associates and Mr. Ashish Kabra, senior member of the International Litigation & Dispute Resolution team at Nishith Desai Associates.
Other speakers included Mr. Rajesh Ramloll, Deputy-Solicitor General, Mr. Steven Sengayen of Steven and Associates, Mrs. Dinah Jeetah of Origin Circle. The event was moderated by Mr. Barlen Pillay, Director-General of MARC.
Mrs. Anjana Khemraz-Chikhuri, Secretary-General of MARC, introduced the topic by providing a background of the main advantages of institutional arbitration over ad hoc arbitration, and the experience of the MARC, as a Mauritian arbitration institution.
Mr. Nishith Desai then took over to share of his experience on the topic. Drawing on India’s recent moves towards promoting institutional arbitration, he emphasized that institutional arbitration is the way forward and that Mauritius could strengthen its position as an arbitration center if it has the requisite support from Government, and that the right efforts and resources are geared towards marketing and promotion. The takeaway he suggested is that innovation is key and there are many niches in which Mauritius can be a first mover in the African Region.
Mr. Ashish Kabra continued the discussion on the Indian perspective, highlighting the completely reformed dispute resolution landscape in India. He spoke about the policy of the Government of Maharashtra requiring government contracts of above INR 50 million in value to have institutional arbitration clauses and the High-Level Committee Report on Institutionalization of Arbitration in India. He discussed key factors i.e. credibility & reputation, independence and permanence which are quintessential for growth of an arbitral institution. Lastly certain suggestions were made on areas where Mauritius could focus on for developing into an arbitration center.
Mr. Ramjesh Ramloll then talked about Government initiatives to spearhead Mauritius as an arbitration center, namely the holding of ICCA 2016 in Mauritius, the enactment of the International Arbitration Act 2008. He also outlined that Mauritius is the only country that has committed to arbitration in taxation.
Ms. Dinah Jeetah shared of her experience with institutional arbitration, namely a positive experience with MARC, while Mr. Steven Sengayen talked about the importance of promoting arbitration in Africa and getting more African practitioners involved.
The event was attended by leading practitioners and users of arbitration in Mauritius who interacted with the speakers throughout to share their views and experience.