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Parliament Passes International Arbitration Bill

24 October 2017

The African National Congress in Parliament welcomes the unanimous adoption of the International Arbitration Bill by the National Assembly today.

The International Arbitration Bill will provide for the incorporation of the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, as adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law into South African law. Once enacted, the International Arbitration Bill 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. It will also attract foreign direct investment and promote South Africa as a venue of choice during international contract negotiations.

This Bill is also a development towards transforming South Africa’s outdated, and even limited, international commercial arbitration practice. Moreover, the Bill will send a message to the international investment and business community that South Africa is a safe place to operate and that their disputes will properly be heard and dealt with in a manner consistent with international best practice.

The Bill is an indication of the ANC-led government’s intention to align its international commercial arbitration practice with international standards on the resolution of commercial disputes; especially in trade and investment; and to provide greater legal protection to South African investments abroad.

Parliaments’ adoption of this piece of legislation will contribute to increased economic growth and investment. We are quite certain that this Bill will position South Africa into an attractive international arbitration destination for parties around the world to resolve their commercial disputes.

We applaud the portfolio committee on Justice and Correctional Services on the sterling work done to ensure that this Bill is processed by Parliament.

As a Section 75 Bill, the International Arbitration Bill will be submitted to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for concurrence.

Issued by the Office of the ANC Chief Whip

Nonceba Mhlauli
ANC Caucus Spokesperson

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