A new Arbitration Act for the BVI

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) parliament has now passed the long-awaited Arbitration Act. Although currently still awaiting formal proclamation, the act is likely to come into force in the near future.

It will replace the previous 1976 act, which was a hybrid of the English arbitration acts of 1950 and 1975. At its core, the act largely adopts the terms of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, subject to certain variations and supplements. In doing so, the act will bring arbitration in the BVI up to date and in line with many other jurisdictions.

The object of the Arbitration Act is to facilitate and obtain the fair and speedy resolution of disputes without unnecessary delay or expense. The 1976 act was seen to be very much out of date, its effect being an impediment to arbitration both in the territory and, perhaps more relevantly, to those who sought to enforce foreign arbitral awards within the jurisdiction…

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