South Africa
South Africa

South Africa’s National Assembly on Tuesday passed the International Arbitration Bill to replace its domestic arbitration regime which is not in line with international developments.

The IAB provides for incorporating the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, as adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, into South African law.

The Model Law is seen as the gold standard for international and domestic arbitration internationally.

This is to provide for the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, to repeal the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards Act of 1977 and to amend the Protection of Businesses Act of 1978, parliamentary spokespersoon Moloto Mothapo said.

South Africa’s existing international arbitration regime — the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards Act 40 of 1977 — has been criticized for not being in line with international developments.

Concerns have also been raised that the Arbitration Act of 1965 is inadequate for international arbitration purposes, is outdated and needs revision to meet modern commercial needs.

In 1998, the South African Law Reform Commission recommended that South Africa adopt a Model Law, which would harmonize national laws related to international arbitration procedures.

The IAB will now be referred to the National Council of Provinces for consideration. If the Council passes the Bill without amendments, the Bill must be submitted to the President for assent.

If it is enacted, the Bill will regulate international arbitration proceedings in South Africa and govern the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards.

Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, John Jeffery said the IAB will assist businesses in resolving their international commercial disputes and will ensure that South Africa is an attractive venue for parties around the world to resolve their commercial disputes. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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