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Government moves ahead with arbitration plans

Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry Brent Symonette gave an update this morning on the government's plans to transform The Bahamas into an arbitration hub. 

Friday, January 25, 2019
Friday, January 25, 2019

Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry Brent Symonette gave an update this morning on the government’s plans to transform The Bahamas into an arbitration hub.

Addressing the 7th annual Arbitration and Investment Summit at the Baha Mar Convention Centre, the Minister said: “We are looking forward to producing a modern and sophisticated arbitration centre in The Bahamas. We have a long way to go, but we feel we are in a position to move forward.”

Symonette said greater capacity in arbitration would benefit The Bahamas’ maritime and construction industries – sectors where alternative dispute resolution has proved extremely effective.

Last year, the government tabled two new bills to update the current domestic and international arbitration regimes. This move, combined with efforts by the University of The Bahamas (UB) to improve training and development, will assist the country in becoming a regional hub, according to Symonette.

He added that his Ministry has had several meetings with the Bahamas Bar Association to work with industry as plans progress.

The UB recently added more advanced courses in arbitration to its law programmes and is working to create a Centre of Excellence.

President Dr Rodney Smith said: “Arbitration is potentially a very lucrative path for The Bahamas. The University is well-positioned to be the start of an arbitration centre.”

The one-day Arbitration and Investment Summit will also feature discussions on energy arbitration, maritime arbitration, construction adjudication and the World Trade Organisation‘s dispute resolution framework.

Speakers include president of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association Santhaan Krishnan, former president of the Caribbean Court of Justice Dennis Byron and associate vice president of litigation for Royal Caribbean International/Celebrity Cruises Paul Hehir.

Sandals Emerald Bay wrapped up the third PGA Web.com Tour event and the first of the year from January 10-16 across its 500 acres on the unspoiled island of Great Exuma. Marty Dou was named winner after conquering the Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course designed by Greg Norman.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is to deliver his first National Report for 2019 tonight at 8pm. The address will be broadcast on local TV networks.

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