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Guyana aims to be CARICOM region’s arbitration capital, with upcoming Bill

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Guyana’s Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall SC, revealed on Wednesday that the government is pursuing an Arbitration Bill that will resolve disputes in Guyana’s oil and gas sector. This bill, he said, is part of the government’s mammoth legislative agenda. That legislative menu, he said, is designed to give the nation a cutting-edge legal system that supports the nation’s rapid and far-reaching developments.

Arbitration is the process of solving an argument between people by helping them to agree to an acceptable solution.

“To be taken to the parliament is the most modern Arbitration Bill in the Caribbean. In fact, it is described as a CARICOM model, because we intend to make Guyana an arbitration capital of not only the Caribbean but possibly Central America,” the AG said during an interview at Guyana’s High Court.

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During the interview, Nandlall was quick to note that currently, Guyana does not possess the modern arbitration infrastructure required to meet international best practices.

“We intend to change that. The arbitration industry alone is a multi-billion-dollar industry,” he related.

To support this upcoming Arbitration Bill, the AG pointed out that a series of training exercises had commenced last year for professionals and members of the judiciary and private sector. The public too, the AG added, will have to be sensitised about the role and importance of arbitration.

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Against this, the government official explained, “Many of the huge contracts that are being entered, both at the level of infrastructure as well as in the oil and gas sector have arbitration clauses that require this arbitration to be taken to different parts of the world if the contracts require arbitration… Sensitising the population of the concept of arbitration, the importance of arbitration, and the benefits we can derive from making Guyana an arbitration destination.

Since taking office, the Irfaan Ali-led government has remained resolute in modernising the many archaic laws in Guyana’s legal system. During the presentation of Budget 2022 back in February, the AG promulgated a massive legislative agenda for the nation spanning at least 38 sectors and subsectors.

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