Overview of International Arbitration Reform in the South Pacific

Event: Third South Pacific International Arbitration Conference: De-Risking Investment in the South Pacific Through a World Class International Arbitration Disputes Regime

Overview of International Arbitration Reform in the South Pacific

17 March 2021
Author / Speaker: 

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Ms. Christina Pak, principal counsel and team leader of the Law and Policy Reform (LPR) Program of ADB, informed the participants about this arbitration reform technical assistance project’s accomplishments to date. First, the program has assisted several South Pacific countries in adopting state-of-the-art international arbitration laws. These countries include Fiji, which enacted its International Arbitration Act in 2017, and Tonga, which passed its International Arbitration Act in 2020. Palau’s draft International Arbitration Bill is pending before Congress. Despite this progress, many other South Pacific countries lack an effective legal framework for resolving cross-border disputes through international arbitration.

Ms. Pak emphasized that South Pacific countries and Timor-Leste should continue implementing legal reforms on arbitration to attract FDI, which constitutes a significant portion of Pacific economies. FDI is essential not just in job creation and private sector growth, but also in post-COVID-19 recovery efforts. She echoed Prof. Dr. Paniagua’s recommendation that South Pacific countries should reduce human-made frictions and create a better contractual environment through international arbitration in order to boost their economy. These countries must also implement other reforms to improve the over-all business climate in the region.

Ms. Pak ended by inviting all the participants to join the last session, wherein ADB and PSDI would conduct consultations to see how ADB could advance international arbitration reform in the South Pacific and answer any questions that the audiences might have.

Geographical Focus: 
Regional - Asia
Subregional- Pacific
Type of Content: 
Learning Event


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