Oil & Gas warrants strengthened legal framework – Attorney General

DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Attorney General Basil Williams frontally addressed the issue for a strengthened legal framework today while speaking at the launch of the Third International Commercial Arbitration Conference which is being hosted in Guyana for the first time.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, SC, speaking at the International Commercial Arbitration Conference.

AG Williams said that in view of the emerging oil and gas sector there needs to be upgrades specifically in the area of dispute resolution.

The AG was speaking at the conference opening today at the Duke Lodge hotel in Georgetown.

AG Williams said the with Guyana quickly becoming a global investment hot spot investors interests is high in the oil and gas sector. He reasoned that this demands that standards be raised to the highest international benchmarks.

The AG posited also that with the recent rise in Guyana’s involvement in international transactions, which is projected to accelerate, a more conducive legal climate is warranted.

Participants at the Third International Commercial Arbitration Conference.

“The time has come to promulgate modern arbitration laws to meet internationally acceptable standards,” Williams declared.

The Attorney General pointed out that arbitration has been the traditional and preferred means of resolving international disputes.

International commercial investors, he noted, generally favour arbitration, with the power of autonomy over the process, the ability to negotiate and tailor the procedure, as opposed to the strict and often lengthy and costly court proceedings.

He highlighted case studies from the United Kingdom, Singapore, India and China which gave credence to the view that local arbitration laws need upgrading.

The Attorney General said that there is still a critical role for the court, even in the arbitral process since ultimately the court acts as gatekeeper for guaranteeing the integrity of the process.

The conference is hosted by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Caribbean Branch, an internationally recognised body promoting the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution. It is being held in collaboration with the University of Guyana; the Caribbean International Chamber of Commerce; the International Centre for the Settlement of Disputes; CARICOM; and the Dispute Resolution Centre.


By: Stacy Carmichael


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