The Mediation & Arbitration Center (Mauritius) Ltd (MARC)
Located right in the heart of Port-Louis, MARC (The Mediation & Arbitration Center (Mauritius) Ltd is your reliable partner for out-of-court dispute resolution. Serving the legal and business community since 1996, MARC is an autonomous, non-governmental Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre. MARC was established in 1996 as an initiative of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry to provide the business community with quick, efficient, flexible and confidential means of resolving disputes, through mediation or arbitration, as alternatives to litigation before state courts.
Through the years, MARC has evolved and it revamped its structure in 2017 and released a more modern and adapted set of procedural rules in 2018.
MARC is now a well-established Arbitration Centre that is well regarded by corporations, governments, the legal sector and other private sector stakeholders in Mauritius and the Indian Ocean region.
As a multi-cultural and multi-lingual arbitral institution placed at the crossroads of the African and the Asian continents, MARC has a wide regional and international outreach.
MARC is also devoted towards actively promoting ADR methods on a local, regional, and international scale by organizing prestigious training sessions and events (often with foreign law firms and arbitration institutions).
As the embodiment of its independence and determination to meet the highest international standards, MARC has established a Court consisting of 17 world-renowned experts originating from most continents, including Africa and Asia. One of the major strengths of MARC is its independent and robust governance structure involving Mr. Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS who is often described as “the father of Hong Kong arbitration” and who has been spearheading significant developments in the international outreach of MARC as President of its Court.
State-of-the-art services and facilities at MARC
In terms of services and facilities, MARC has sophisticated hearing venues as well as support services such as transcription, translation, tribunal secretary services, document storage facilities, and usual business centre services. The functional facilities provided by MARC for the conduct of arbitration hearings at its premises in Port Louis can benefit users of both domestic and international arbitrations, whether involved in MARC arbitrations or other arbitration rules. MARC has a bilingual Secretariat which is amongst the few centres in the Indian Ocean Region to be able to manage cases in both French and English.
MARC arbitration & mediation rules: What makes them distinctive?
MARC launched its latest arbitration rules in 2018. MARC Arbitration Rules aim to facilitate the conduct of arbitrations as swiftly as possible with a view to minimizing time and costs.
- MARC now has an emergency arbitrator procedure. This provides for an arbitrator to be appointed within 24 hours and decide any application for urgent interim or conservatory relief that cannot wait for the constitution of a tribunal within 14 days.
- In addition, for small claims for less than 25 million Mauritian rupees (approx. €625,000), parties can opt for an expedited procedure lasting six months.
- A procedure for the summary dismissal of claims or defences has also been introduced.
- Further articles provide for jurisdictional objections that can be raised to be decided prima facie by the MARC Court if raised prior to the tribunal’s constitution and otherwise by the tribunal itself and allow joinder and consolidation of claims.
- The rules require thorough information at the commencement of the arbitration, to ensure efficiency and allow parties a free choice of arbitrators, without restricting this to a list.
- Striking and innovative opt-in provisions provide for the blind appointment of arbitrators, so they do not know which party picked them and for parties to agree to only produce documents that they intend to rely on in their pleadings, subject to the tribunal’s power to order the production of additional documents in exceptional circumstances.
- The rules state that unless otherwise agreed, tribunals may adopt any procedure they see fit to avoid unnecessary delay or expense, having regard to the complexity of the issues and amount in dispute, and provided that the procedure ensures equal treatment of parties and allows them a reasonable opportunity to present their case.
- It also includes a requirement that the tribunal and parties “do everything necessary to ensure the fair and efficient conduct of the arbitration”. In line with this, tribunals have a new power to exclude new legal counsel from a case if their appointment may result in or potentially result in a conflict of interest.
- Furthermore, parties can request correction or interpretation of awards or additional awards and, as another opt-in, can agree to the appeal of the award on points of law only.
Why should you refer your dispute to MARC?
If you are looking for an arbitration centre that provides an excellent quality of services with international standards and at competitive rates, then MARC was made to assist you with your arbitration and/or mediation disputes. Potential users should also consider MARC if they are looking for a bilingual Secretariat which is amongst the few arbitration teams in Africa to be able to manage cases in both French and English. Moreover, if disputes involve parties coming from Asia and Africa and if they are looking for an independent institution in a neutral seat, then MARC and Mauritius should be considered as options. The choice of Mauritius as the neutral seat for arbitration should be a triggering component for potential users to refer their disputes to MARC.
Mauritius has a state-of-the-art legal framework for arbitration. Its legislation, based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, has been enhanced for parties' convenience. Its judiciary is independent, efficient, and usually adopts a pro-arbitration stance. Its hybrid legal system - mixing English Common Law and French Civil law - its long-standing political stability and bilingual, experienced, and independent legal professionals have also made of Mauritius an ideal arbitration and mediation seat over the past years.
Given that international and local clients already use the financial system of Mauritius for their business activities regularly, they should also try to use more often a Mauritian arbitration institution and Mauritius as a seat for the resolution of their disputes.