Guyana collaborates with IMPACT Justice to draft Model Arbitration Bill

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Attorney General Anil Nandlall and other officials from his Chambers recently met with Project Director of IMPACT Justice, Professor Velma Newton to discuss the implementation of the Model Arbitration Bill in Guyana

Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall recently met with Project Director of Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean Project (IMPACT Justice), Professor Velma Newton, to discuss several areas of collaboration between the justice reform project and Guyana.

IMPACT Justice is a regional justice sector reform project funded by the Government of Canada and is implemented at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.

A statement from the Attorney General’s Chambers revealed that, for several years, IMPACT Justice has provided invaluable support to Guyana in the area of access to justice.  It noted that capacity building and training are essential prerequisites to achieve the Government’s objective of making Guyana a modern arbitration hub.

In this regard, the Attorney General’s Chambers is partnering with IMPACT Justice in a number of initiatives designed to build national capacity and to train persons in arbitration with an emphasis on the new Model Arbitration Bill.

This Model Bill was produced by IMPACT Justice for the Caribbean region. It is one of the most modern expressions of arbitration law in this part of the world. Guyana is among the first territories pursuing its implementation.  Recently, young Attorneys-at-Law in Guyana benefited from a recently concluded virtual skills training workshop on the “Drafting of Arbitration Clauses: Practical Considerations” which was sponsored by IMPACT Justice and the Chartered Institute of Arbitration, Caribbean Branch.  This workshop was held on April 5 and 7.

According to the Attorney General’s Chambers, the objective of this workshop was to highlight the relevance of including arbitration clauses in contracts and to provide participants with an introduction to the drafting of enforceable arbitration clauses. To this end, next month, in collaboration with the Attorney General’s Chambers, IMPACT Justice will be hosting a virtual workshop on the Model Arbitration Bill entitled: “Roadmap to Implementation of a New Arbitration Law”. The objective of this workshop is to enable participants to understand the purpose of arbitration and to familiarise them with the intended legal framework.

Participants of the workshop will receive training from internationally renowned arbitrators namely Barry Leon and Professor Anthony Daimsis, both of whom are Canadian arbitrators; Calvin Hamilton, a Guyanese arbitrator based in Europe and Myles Weekes, the President of Chartered Institute of Arbitration, Caribbean Branch. Participants will include members of the legal profession, the Judiciary, State Counsel, the Private Sector, and civil society.

To facilitate a consultative approach to the preparation of the domestic law, the Attorney General Chambers said that the Model Arbitration Bill was circulated to relevant stakeholders in Guyana including the Bar Association of Guyana, the Berbice Bar Association, the Private Sector Commission, and the American Chamber of Commerce of Guyana.

Additionally, later in the year, it said that the Chartered Institute of Arbitration, Caribbean Branch, will host two training courses on arbitration. One will be held in September and the other in December. The courses will pave the way for interested Guyanese to become certified arbitrators.

Chief Parliamentary Counsel Charles Fung-a-Fat; Solicitor General Nigel Hawke; Deputy Solicitor General Deborah Kumar; Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel Joann Bond;  Law Revision Officer Diane Woolford and Principal Assistant Law Revision Officer Renee King-Sandiford also attended the meeting. Guyana is moving to enact arbitration laws to better handle cases related to the multibillion-dollar oil and gas industry.