Expert Witnesses in International Commercial Arbitration
In international arbitration, a party may submit evidence in different categories. Opinions of expert witnesses forms one of these categories. Expert opinions are mostly relied upon in complex cases that require special knowledge, such as construction, oil and gas, and insurance disputes, or in cases where damages quantum needs to be determined.
The Bahamas Supreme Court gave an important judgement regarding the efficacy of foreign arbitral awards for being relied upon as the basis of a statutory demand to evidence insolvency of the debtor in the liquidation case of In the Matter of BHP International Markets Limited 2016/COM/bnk/0038. The Court held that prior enforcement of the foreign award under the Arbitration (Foreign Arbitral Awards) Act, 2009 was not necessary and it dismissed opposition to the statutory demand.
By: Andrew Shute, Partner and Jason Savage, Senior Associate
Grattan v Porter  QDC 202
The plaintiff (Mr Grattan) and his wife were historically close friends with the defendant (Ms Porter) and her husband. That relationship ended in about January 2011, and soon afterwards the Grattans began to hear rumours to the effect that Mr Grattan was a paedophile.
Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution method based on consent of the parties, regardless of whether it is a commercial or investment arbitration. A dispute may be brought to arbitration only where the parties have consented to arbitration. In commercial arbitration, the parties consent to arbitration through the execution of an arbitration agreement as a separate agreement, or as an arbitration clause within the underlying contract. In an investment arbitration where the parties are always a state (or a state entity) on the one side, and a foreign investor on the other, the parties must have consented to arbitration through an arbitration agreement, or through other methods, which will be explained, below.
Appellate jurisdiction is regulated under the Civil Procedure Code (“CPC”) that entered into force on 01.10.2011. Thus, the decisions rendered by the courts of first instance may be challenged before the competent regional courts of appeal, and the regional courts of appeal sit between the courts of first instance and the Court of Cassation. However, establishment of the regional courts of appeal and entry into force of the appellate jurisdiction has been postponed several times. Finally, the Regulation on Procedures Regarding the Administrative and Clerk Services for the Courts of Appeal, Civil Courts of First Instance and Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Republic entered into force through publication in the Official Gazette dated 06.08.2015 and numbered 29437, and the Resolution of the Official Start Date of the Courts of Appeal and the District Administrative Courts provides that the regional courts of appeal come into effect as of 20.07.2016. We will assess the establishment, functioning, and appellate procedure against the decisions of the civil courts of first instance within the scope of this Newsletter.