Government’s Vision for Malta as a Centre for International Arbitration

October 01, 2015 | 2 minute read

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In line with its vision to promote Malta as an attractive jurisdiction for international arbitration, the Maltese Government recently launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the setting up and operation of the Malta Arbitration Centre, which will be tasked with pushing forward international arbitration in Malta.This initiative falls in line with its plans to rejuvenate and bring closer the judiciary system to its citizen and businesses.

International Arbitration is an established institutional mechanism, already enshrined in the Maltese Legislative framework and specifically in Chapter 387, Arbitration Act and the Arbitration Rules, 2004 (Legal Notice 421 of 2004). These existing legal instruments encourage and facilitate the settlement of disputes through arbitration in Malta and to establish the Malta Arbitration Centre as a centre for domestic arbitration and international commercial arbitration.

Government’s strategy is based on the belief that the private sector can leverage the Malta Arbitration Centre to position itself as an effective centre for adjudication. The objective of the RFP is to grant a concession to the Successful Proponent to undertake most of the functions carried out by the Malta Arbitration Centre. The RFP excludes arbitration services that are of a domestic mandatory nature, which cases shall continue to be heard and adjudicated by the Malta Arbitration Centre.

Malta, centrally located in the Mediterranean with well-established MaritimeAviation and Gaming industries provides a strategically located robust business opportunity for the promotion of arbitration services. In managing the international arbitration institution, the successful proponent will be responsible to develop its own arbitration facilities that are to operate profitably and in a way that ensures that Government and those using the arbitration facilities are fully satisfied with the quality of the services provided. Furthermore, the arbitration services to be provided shall be to acceptable local regulatory level and to international standards.

The arbitration services offered will include both international as well as domestic voluntary arbitration disputes and any other ancillary services such as an extensive electronic library service. The aim of this is to ensure that the parties and Arbitrators have access to a professional expert library and other recognised and professional legal resources. Moreover, investors are also encouraged to be innovative and generate additional services that will boost the international arbitration dimension and provide Malta with the visibility as a centre of international arbitration.

The successful proponent is to have strong affiliations with internationally recognised partner organisations and shall additionally undertake to have skilled and experienced arbitrators at all times. Given the international element, with parties attracted from different countries, particular considerations shall be given to technological connectivity, video conferencing and other vanguard developments related to the ICT industry, thus facilitating worldwide interaction that is the cornerstone for conducting international arbitration proceedings. Government’s primary goal is to see Malta Arbitration Centre develop into a centre of excellence.

The RFP document regarding a concession for the Operation of the Functions Provided by the Malta Arbitration Centre was issued by the Privatisation Unit on behalf of the Malta Arbitration Centre on Friday 25th September 2015 until 4th January 2016.

For more information on the initiative and the request for proposals please contact our advisory department at advisory@nexiabt.com.

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