An international arbitration act for South Africa
Le Goff, Laurent
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When South Africa emerged from the era of isolation in 1994, it was faced with the fact that many of its laws relevant in the field of international trade and investment were outdated and inadequate. An obvious example is in the field of international arbitration. The problem is a serious one. Even thought South Africa is a developing country (one of the richest countries in Africa) and provides everything an investor wants: mainly, a reliable political and juridical system and some great opportunities of business, the same investor is also interested in how a dispute arisen between parties is settled. In this matter; one can be surprised not to see any references to international arbitration in the South African regulations.South African passed the Arbitration Act 42 of 1965 that was based mostly on the English Arbitration Act of 1950. Unfortunately, this law was designed for domestic arbitration and has no provision at all dealing with international arbitrations. This Act is perceived by those involved in international arbitration as being totally inadequate for this purpose.Given the fact that countries like Nigeria, Kenya or Zimbabwe have regulations on international arbitration prove the interests of States to give the best conditions for investors (e.g. predictability of where and how a dispute will be settled if one occurs).Focus will be on private arbitration (two private entities such as persons or corporations) and investor state arbitration and will therefore not be on the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO which settles disputes between states. Besides, the domestic arbitration regime will be put aside to concentrate on International Arbitration.