Historic Int’l Arbitration Conference to open next week in Georgetown

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The Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Basil Williams, is scheduled to give the opening address at the third International Arbitration Conference, on April 25, 2018 at 9:00 h at Duke Lodge Hotel, Kingston, Georgetown. The keynote address will be delivered by Sir Dennis Byron, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice.

The Arbitration Conference, the first of its kind in Guyana, is hosted by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Caribbean Branch, an internationally recognised body promoting the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution. It is being held in collaboration with The University of Guyana; the Caribbean International Chamber of Commerce; the International Center for the Settlement of Disputes; CARICOM; and the Dispute Resolution Center. The conference will comprise CIArb training in arbitration and mediation for lawyers and non-lawyers as well as workshops on international arbitration issues.

According to Mr. Calvin Hamilton, Conference Chair, “this conference and workshop appear at an auspicious time. Guyana’s public and private sectors are involved in commercial transactions with foreign partners as never before. As night follows day, disputes will arise as a result of the increase in international business activity and parties need to manage these disputes. Arbitration has become the dispute resolution mechanism of choice in international transactions. It is therefore necessary to understand how and why arbitration works. It is necessary to understand the regulatory framework for arbitration, as well as the practical strategies to follow and pitfalls to avoid.”

Participants will include arbitrators, government officials, lawyers, investment professionals, judges and representatives from regional organizations who will share their invaluable knowledge and experience and highlight various issues, opportunities and emerging trends.

In commenting on the importance of the conference Mr Hamilton further stated that, “as arbitration grows, so does the need to bring new people, both legal professionals and arbitrators into the field. Clients also need to be familiar with the parameters of international commercial arbitration as they negotiate these transactions. The judiciary needs to understand their very significant function as the gate keeper of the institution of arbitration.”

The training sessions will take place on April 23 and 24, 2018 at the CARICOM Secretariat, Greater Georgetown, Guyana. The sessions will provide an introduction to the world of International Arbitration and Commercial Mediation and are designed for lawyers, architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, valuers, insurers and other professionals.

The arbitration conference on April 25 will focus on the fundamental workings of international commercial arbitration proceedings. During the arbitration conference workshops on April 26 and 27, participants will be guided through each stage of a dispute between an investor and a state under the rules of the International Convention for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Updates will also be provided on the latest developments in ICSID arbitration and best practices before ICSID Tribunals by reference to the most recent cases.

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