Parliament Passes International Arbitration Bill

Parliament

Parliament has passed the International Arbitration Bill and sent it to president Zuma for assent.

The national assembly passed the bill and sent it to the national council of provinces for concurrence in October 2017.

The bill was tabled in parliament in April 2017.

The proposed legislation seeks to:

•    provide for the incorporation of the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, as adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, into South African law;
•    provide anew for the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards;
•    repeal the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards Act, 1977;
•    amend the Protection of Businesses Act, 1978, so as to delete an expression; and
•    provide for matters connected there with.

During its deliberations, the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services extended the scope of clause 9 to not only apply to the employees of the arbitrator but also persons appointed by the arbitral tribunal.

Parliament has also passed the Legal Practice Amendment Bill.

The bill was tabled in parliament in April 2017.

It aims to amend the Legal Practice Act of 2014 in order to:

•    further regulate the prescription of the areas of jurisdiction of the Provincial Councils;
•    provide that only practising legal practitioners may perform certain acts or render certain services;
•    further regulate the duties of banks in respect of trust accounts;
•    further regulate the duration of the National Forum on the Legal Profession;
•    further provide for the functions of the National Forum on the Legal Profession;
•    further provide for the dissolution date of the law societies; and
•    provide for matters connected therewith.

During its deliberations, the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services introduced amendments to the bill including a new clause stating that the Legal Council will only take jurisdiction over all legal practitioners when section 120(4) comes into operation and a new section 120(3) provides that chapter 2 comes into operation on any date fixed by the president.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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