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1. International Agreements

a. Is the jurisdiction a party to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, done at New York on 10 June 1958 (New York Convention). If so, are there any reservations? Name the domestic law that implements these commitments.


b. Is the jurisdiction a party to the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes Between States and Nationals of Other States, done at Washington on 18 March 1965 (ICSID Convention)? Is there a domestic implementing law? Is the jurisdiction a party to any bilateral investment treaties providing for settlement of investment disputes between a state and a national of another state?


c. Is the jurisdiction a party to the Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration, signed in Panama on 30 January 1975 (Panama Convention)? Is there a domestic implementing law?


d. Is the jurisdiction a party to any other international agreement related to international commercial arbitration?

Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Award 26th September 1927. (Arbitration Foreign Awards) Act (Chapter 170) Statute Law of The Bahamas 1987 Revised Edition.

Protocol on Arbitration Clauses, 24 September, 1923 (Arbitration Clauses (Protocol) Act (Chapter 169) Statute Law of The Bahamas 1987 Revised Edition.

2. Arbitration

a. What is the source of law for international commercial arbitration within your jurisdiction? Please cite.

Arbitration Act, Chapter 168: allows partner to make a submission rewritten agreement to submit present or future differences to arbitration, whether on arbitrator is named there or not. Act applies to any Arbitration to which Her Majesty the Queen is a party.

Arbitration Clauses (Protocol) Act Chapter 169: gives effect to the Protocol on Arbitration Clauses of September 24, 1923, by which states are parties.

Arbitration (Foreign Awards), Chapter 170 applies to awards made pursuant to an agreement for arbitration to which the protocol set out in the Arbitration Clauses (Protocol) Act, Chapter 169 relates

Subsidiary Legislation, Chapter 170: Arbitration (Foreign Awards)

Subsidiary Legislation Chapter 67, Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments

Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Arbitration (International Investment Disputes Act 1966 of the United Kingdom

b. Does the law contain different rules for domestic and international arbitration?


c. Are there limitations on the types of disputes that may be arbitrated?

Chapter 169, Schedule, paragraph 1: Commercial matters or any other matters capable of settlement by arbitration.

d. Does the law specify rules for arbitration or do the parties have autonomy to set their rules?

A mixture of both. Schedule, Chapter 169 Arbitral Procedure shall be governed by the will of the parties and by the law of the country in whose territory the arbitration takes place.

e. What is the role of the courts during an arbitration? May courts intervene prior to or during the arbitration process?

(i) Appellate body with power to set aside judgment: Chapter 168, Section 11 (2)
(ii) Jurisdiction to remove arbitrator: Chapter 168, Section 11 (1)
(iii) Appointors of arbitrator, umpire or third arbitrator: Chapter 168 Section 5
(iv) Arbitrator, Chapter 168, Section 16
(v) Power to stay the proceeding on application of a party.

f. Can the courts grant interim relief pending the outcome of an arbitration?


g. Does the law require citizenship or a particular bar membership for participation in an arbitral proceeding, as arbiter or representative of a party?

No. Section 21, Chapter 168: provision may be made by Rules of Court conferring on the Registrar, or other officer of the Supreme Court, all or any of the Jurisdiction conferred by this Act on a Court or a Judge. Section 16, Chapter 168 - Court to have power as to reference by consent. Section B 14 parties may agree on arbitrator or Court may refer submission to official referee or officer of the Court; Section 3 - any official referee may hear and determine the matters agreed to be referred.

h. Does the law require that the proceedings be conducted in a particular language?


i. Does the law have mandatory choice of law provisions?

No. See Schedule, Chapter 169 paragraph 2: by will of parties or by law of the country in whose territory the arbitration takes place.

j. Does the arbitration law prescribe rules for decision making by the arbiters and the form of an award?

Rules are prescribed Section 2, Chapter 168 Arbitration Act; First Schedule (a) two arbitrators may appoint an umpire; (b) written award; (c) award must be made three months after entering on the reference or, as enlarged by the arbitrators in writing. No form is prescribed.

k. Is the confidentiality of arbitral proceedings and awards protected by law?

Not specifically. General principles apply.

l. On what grounds will the courts set aside or decline to enforce an award?

1. Chapter 168 Arbitration Act, Section 11: Power to set aside award:

(i) where the arbitrator or umpire has misconducted himself or
(iii) an arbitration or an award has been improperly procured; the court may set the award aside.

2. Power to decline enforcement: Chapter 170 Schedule, Article 2. Chapter 170 section 4(2)

(i) award annulled in country where made
(ii) party against whom made was not given notice of arbitration proceedings in sufficient time to present his case, or was under some legal incapacity or was not properly represented
(iii) award does not deal with all the questions referred or contains decisions on matters beyond the scope of the agreement for arbitration.

3. Chapter 170, Schedule, Article 3: if the party against whom the award has been made proves that, under the law governing the arbitration procedure, there are other grounds entitling him to contest the validity of the award in a Court of law, the Court may, either refuse recognition or enforcement of the award.

m. What is the procedure for the enforcement of an award?

Schedule 67 Part III (Section 5) (Rules of Court Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments):

1. Rule 2. Application: Ex Parte or by Summons supported by Affidavit to see Judge to register judgment.

2. Judge issues Summons

3. Service of Summons for leave to register

4. Service of Order on judgment debtor where made on a Summons; if on Ex Parte application, no service necessary.

5. Rule 8: judgment registered in Register of Judgments kept in Nassau.

6. Rule 10: written notice of registration of judgment to be served on judgment debtor (personal, substituted or out of jurisdiction)

7. Rule 12: Service must be indorsed on the notice within three days of service.

8. Affidavit of service required. Rule 13 - judgment debtor may apply by summons to set aside registration.

9. Rule 15: Execution of judgment may not take place before expiration of time limited by Order for registration.

n. Please list any institutions available within your jurisdiction that provide international commercial arbitration services. Provide internet address where available.


3. Alternative forms of Dispute Resolution (ADR)

a. Are other forms of alternative dispute resolution (mediation, conciliation) available for the resolution of commercial disputes within your jurisdiction?

No available information.

b. Does the law or do the courts mandate or encourage the use of ADR in commercial disputes? Are there any legal impediments to using ADR for the resolution of commercial disputes?

ADR is not mandated . Out of Court settlement in Civil Proceedings is encouraged. If an ADR is attempted after a submission is made under Section 1 of the Arbitration Act, Chapter 168, leave of the Court must be sought in order to revoke the submission

c. Can courts enforce agreements to mediate or use other forms of non-binding dispute resolution in commercial disputes?


d. Are there any organizations that specialize in ADR for commercial disputes not already mentioned?


e. What rules govern confidentiality and admissibility of evidence in other proceedings?

Evidence Act No. 4 of 1996 Section 4:

(i) evidence of facts relevant to the issue
(ii) Section 6 - evidence of course of business
(iii) Section 16 - Admissions made “without prejudice” not admissible
(iv) Section 58, Part III of Act No. 4 of 1996 lists rules for Oral and Documentation Evidence.
(v) Section 61 - Computer documented statements admissible as proof of facts stated therein.
(vi) Evidence of admission admissible.
(vii) The Bahamas Bar (Code of Professional Conduct). Subsidiary Legislation Chapter 44, Section 40 Attorney/Client Privilege: Rule IV 2; Rule IV: Attorney has duty to hold client’s information in strict confidence.

4. Legal Sources and References

In addition to the references above is there an authoritative Internet site containing up-to-date information on dispute resolution facilities available in this jurisdiction?


5. Bibliography

Please list respected reference works relating to arbitration and ADR in your jurisdiction.

None, other than legislation cited.

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