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Bahamian Students Win Arbitration Competition

Two Bahamian students won a trip to Miami for an arbitration event, where they gained expertise from the world’s leading practitioners.

Coinciding with the Pre-International Council for Commercial Arbitration’s Bahamas Young Arbitrator’s Conference (ICCA), a competition was held whereby college and university students, and young professionals under 40 years-old, and who had less than 10 years of practice in their respective disciplines, were invited to draft an arbitration clause with the seat of arbitration being the Bahamas.

Marike Paulsson, director of the University of Miami School of Law’s International Arbitration Institute, and founder and chair of the Young ICCA, selected two competition winners - Shakeyra Dean, law student at the University of the West Indies (UWI), and Ashley Williams, bar student at the Eugene Dupuch Law School.

The students were awarded with an all-expenses paid trip from Nassau to attend Young ICCA and Young Arbitration Practitioners (YAP) events, which were held in Miami from 8-10 April, 2014. The students stayed at the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Miami, where much of the conference was held.

Miss Dean and Mr Williams benefited from the expertise of leading practitioners in arbitration, including Jan Paulsson (outgoing chair of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration); Albert Van Den Berg (incoming Chair of ICCA; and Marike Paulsson.

The YAP panel discussed issues such as the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, and whether it should be adopted wholesale by countries, as well as state responsibility in investment arbitrations.

At the Young ICCA event our Bahamian students received instruction on practical advice for young practitioners appearing as counsel in international arbitrations. In addition, mock scenarios of difficulties which arise in arbitration proceedings were enacted by participants of the conference with Jan Paulsson and Albert Van De Berg acting as the tribunal.

Prior to the YAP event in Miami, the Bahamas Bar Association; the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - Bahamas Branch; the Ministry of Financial Services; the Bahamas Financial Services Board; and the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services, in collaboration with the University of Miami School of Law’s International Arbitration Institute, the Young International Council for Commercial Arbitration (Young ICCA); and Miami’s Gomm & Smith law firm held the Pre-ICCA Bahamas Young Arbitrator’s Conference in Nassau

The participation of Miss Dean and Mr Williams in the YAP and Young ICCA events would not have been possible without the sponsorship of Bahamasair, Gomm & Smith, the Ministry of Tourism, Young ICCA and YAP.

The next biannual ICCA Congress, along with the Young ICCA Congress, will be held in Mauritius in 2016.

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