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The Guyana Government has turned to Belizean Supreme Court Judge, Justice (Ret’d) Courtney Abel for assistance in modernizing the country’s Arbitration Laws and Rules in light of the budding Oil and Gas Industry, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall has disclosed.
“Arbitration is the most preferred form of dispute resolution for the oil and gas industry and a modern legislation will instill confidence in international investors that Guyana is a competent arbitration venue,” the Attorney General said in a statement on Wednesday, hours after meeting with the retired Belizean judge.
The meeting, Minister Nandlall said, was centered on the drafting of an Arbitration Bill and Arbitration Rules for Guyana.
Justice Abel is proficient in the area of dispute resolution and was instrumental in the drafting of the Arbitration Act and Arbitration Rules of Belize. He has also trained persons to be Arbitrators and once served as the Chairman for the Belize Court-Connected Mediation and Arbitration Program.
Justice Abel, during his meeting with the Attorney General, said he is excited to work with the Government in a number of areas, including arbitration.
Meanwhile, Nandlall said Government will be taking critical steps to enhance the country’s legislative framework to ensure it is conducive to economic development.
“To this end, high on the Government’s legislative agenda is a modern Arbitration Act that addresses both domestic and international arbitration,” he said while noting that the new law will give persons and companies a different avenue to resolve their disputes outside of the Courts.
It is the Government’s vision to make Guyana an arbitration hub of the Caribbean and Latin America. The Attorney General also shared with Justice Abel the draft Bill prepared by CARICOM and the Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) Project.
The Bill is based on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration.
Justice Abel committed to working with the Attorney General’s Chambers to review the draft Arbitration Bill with a view to improving it and preparing arbitration rules. The draft Arbitration Bill was also shared with relevant stakeholders for their input.