By Maria Cole
Once again, New Zealand has been ranked first equal with Denmark as having the least corrupt public sector in the world. Transparency International has just released its 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) and New Zealand ranked equal No.1 out of 180 countries and territories with an overall score of 88/100. The average score was 43/100 and two-thirds of the countries scored below 50/100.
In the Asia Pacific region, New Zealand was the cleanest followed by Singapore (85/100), Australia (77/100) and Hong Kong (77/100), with the region having an average score of 45/100.
The impact of corruption on the global health response to COVID-19 featured front and centre and New Zealand’s response to the pandemic was praised.
The report states that the CPI paints a grim picture of the state of corruption worldwide and makes four recommendations which it says are essential for countries to implement to fight the impacts of COVID-19 and curb corruption:
1. Strengthen oversight institutions: The COVID-19 response exposed vulnerabilities of weak oversight and inadequate transparency. To ensure resources reach those most in need and are not subject to theft by the corrupt, anti-corruption authorities and oversight institutions must have sufficient funds, resources , and independence to perform their duties.
2. Ensure open and transparent contracting: Many governments have drastically relaxed procurement processes. These rushed and opaque procedures provide ample opportunity for corruption and the diversion of public resources. Contracting processes must remain open and transparent to combat wrongdoing, identify conflicts of interest and ensure fair pricing.
3. Defend democracy, promote civic space: The COVID-19 crisis exacerbated democratic decline, with some governments exploiting the pandemic to suspend parliaments, renounce public accountability mechanisms, and incite violence against dissidents. To defend civic space, civil society groups and the media must have the enabling conditions to hold governments accountable.
4. Public relevant data, guarantee access: The publication of disaggregated data on spending and distribution of resources is particularly relevant in emergency situations, to ensure fair and equitable policy responses. Governments should also ensure people receive easy, accessible, timely and meaningful information by guaranteeing their rights to access information.
The report says with a score of 88, New Zealand scores top marks on the CPI and that the country’s response was lauded for its effectiveness.
COVID-19 has certainly provided the world with new and unprecedented challenges. The need to review and revise our approach to arbitration and mediation in light of this new world is no different and is highlighted by a recently published book International Arbitration and the COVID-19 Revolution (published by Wolters Klumer – a discussion on chapters of the book can be found in its recent blog).
Noting New Zealand’s consistent high standing in the CPI together with its breadth and depth of expertise and experience in private dispute resolution, NZIAC has been ideally placed to take a lead role in this revolution in the international dispute resolution space. New Zealand has excellent technological expertise and resources. NZIAC has world-class facilities and its registry has continued to operate remotely throughout each lockdown that has been imposed. The New Zealand government’s response to COVID-19 has provided stability for the business community and mitigated the disruption of the pandemic in a way that has been recognised throughout the world.
The full report is available here.
NZIAC 2018 Arbitration and Mediation Rules
Since the publication of NZIAC’s 2018 Rules they have been increasingly adopted by commercially astute parties doing business in the Trans-Pacific Region and also more widely throughout the world. The impact of COVID-19 on the business world and dispute resolution has meant that the Rules have been especially welcomed during this time of disruption.
The settlement of disputes by Arbitration, Mediation, Arb-Med, and other private forms of dispute resolution is an important feature of the global commercial and legal landscape.
NZIAC is committed to providing parties to international commercial disputes with the widest capacity to adopt dispute resolution processes and procedures that are fair, prompt, and cost effective, and which provide a proportionate response to the amounts in dispute and the complexity of the issues involved.
NZIAC’s 2018 Rules govern the delivery of its international dispute resolution services. The Rules are robust and certain, yet innovative in their commercial common-sense approach to challenging issues. They address appointment, urgent interim relief, expedited procedures, summary procedures for early dismissal of claims and defences, joinder, consolidation, multiple contracts, confidentiality, representation, mediation, arbitral secretaries, expert evidence, appeals, costs, and combining arbitration and mediation in a single unified Arb-Med process that ensures the principles of natural justice are observed and a just, final, and binding decision is made.
The Rules contain a number of innovations intended to address the needs of the modern international business community for efficient and effective dispute resolution. They assert NZIAC’s position as the premier forum for the settlement of international trade, commerce, investment, and cross-border disputes in the Trans-Pacific Region.
The Rules provide both a framework and detailed provisions to ensure the efficient and cost effective resolution of disputes and reflect a modern and fresh approach to legal drafting. They are set out in a manner designed to facilitate ease of use and may be adopted by agreement in writing at any time before or after a dispute has arisen.
The Rules are tailored to meet the needs and requirements of global and regional commercial parties and are purposively directed to ensuring the resolution of international disputes in a manner that is efficient, cost-effective, and certain.
While the Rules have been developed in New Zealand, they are appropriate for use by parties from any country and may be applied in any jurisdiction through NZIAC.
For more information, contact our registry team: firstname.lastname@example.org.