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About ICCA 2016 Mauritius: The first African ICCA Congress

The ICCA Congress is the largest regular conference devoted to international arbitration. It takes place every two years, on each occasion in a different city. The host city for the Congress is selected by ICCA on the grounds that it is a place which has made significant recent advancements as a venue and centre for international arbitration. The 2012 Congress, held in Singapore, and the 2014 Congress, held in Miami, each attracted over 1,000 delegates.

The Congress is a major academic and professional event, representing a significant milestone in the advancement of international arbitration law and practice. It includes presentations of papers from the leading experts in the field of international arbitration, as well as substantial opportunities for discussion and sharing of ideas. Delegates travel from all over the world to take part in the ICCA Congress, because there is no better opportunity for practitioners and other users of international arbitration to ensure that they are up to date with the latest developments in the subject and, more importantly, are involved in the discussions that will shape developments in the field in years to come.

Mauritius was chosen as the host for the 23rd ICCA Congress, which takes place from 8-11 May 2016, because of the progress that Mauritius has made to improve its legal system for international arbitration, and to position itself as a centre of excellence for international arbitration in Africa. This progress includes the adoption of the International Arbitration Act 2008 (IAA), an advanced law based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, with further refinements to make the Mauritian legal system for international arbitration as supportive and attractive as possible. Mauritius has also put in place institutions and systems which support international arbitration: In 2009 the Permanent Court of Arbitration, based in The Hague, opened its first overseas representative office in Mauritius. The PCA performs important functions under the IAA, including resolving challenges to arbitrators. In 2011 the Government of Mauritius and the LCIA agreed to form the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre, an international arbitral institution, based in Mauritius but supported by the LCIA. In 2013 a special group of Designated International Arbitration Judges was appointed in the Supreme Court, who hear all matters under the IAA that come before the Mauritian courts.

Mauritius is a diverse multicultural society, but it is also a proudly African country; a member of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Mauritius seeks to become a centre of excellence in its own right, but also to help to promote the development of international arbitration in Africa. The 23rd ICCA Congress will be a unique opportunity for practitioners, experts and businesspeople from around the world to come together to continue this important mission to develop the involvement and influence of African governments, companies, practitioners and arbitrators in international arbitration. For this reason, all citizens of African countries will be offered a 50% discount from the Congress registration fee, thanks to the support of the Government of Mauritius.

Mauritius is known as a place for holidays because of its beautiful beaches and hotels, hospitable climate and warm, welcoming people. But Mauritius is also now a thriving commercial centre. As well as industries including agricultural, manufacturing and IT, Mauritius is a major international financial centre, particularly for parties doing business in, or investing in, Africa and India. Visitors to Mauritius for the Congress will be able to experience all the different sides of Mauritius, thanks to the variety of venues where the various Congress events will be held. These events will include breakfast seminars, post-Congress receptions, the Gala Dinner and the famous ICCA Congress ‘After-Parties’. From Mauritius’ modern international convention centre, to crisp commercial towers; and from historic ruins and chateaux to 5-star beachfront hotels: the ICCA Congress in Mauritius will allow visitors to experience them all.