2017 conference, gala nite and induction ceremony of CIArb in Lagos
Stakeholders have advocated the need to deepen arbitration in Africa. They made the call at the 17th yearly conference of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), Nigeria branch, which held in Lagos last week.
With the theme, Strengthening the building blocks of arbitration in Africa, the event attracted participants from across continent and Europe.
Speakers at the two-day event included Partner, Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa and Ankomah, Ghana, Ace Ankomah; Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Kazeem Adeniji; arbitration law specialist, Hogan Lovells, United Kingdom, Andrew Mackenzie; Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Prof. Ayo Atsenuwa and Managing Partner, SPA Ajibade and Co., Dr. Babatunde Ajibade (SAN).
Others were former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Bayo Ojo (SAN), Partner, Principles Law Partnership, Miannaya Essien (SAN); one-time Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Olasupo Shasore (SAN).
The rest are Managing Director, Grace Infortech, publishers of Law Pavilion, Ope Olugasa; Partner, White and Case LLP, United Kingdom, Robert Wheal; as well as an independent consultant and arbitrator in Austria, Timothy Lemay, among others.
The event culminated in a gala nite, where new members were inducted into the branch. It also featured cultural performance and stage performances by Terra Kulture as well as a raffle draw and dinner.
Chairperson of the institute, Mrs. Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour expressed optimism that the Arbitration and Conciliation Amendment Bill would soon be passed into law by the National Assembly.
She said the new piece of legislation, when sanctioned, would remove from Nigeria’s statute books the current Act based on the 1985 United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) model law and the 1976 arbitration rules.
According to her, the new Act would be based on 2006 UNCITRAL model law and the 2010 UNCITRAL arbitration rules.
She said the aim of the arbitral community was to ensure that the country has a modern arbitration law that attracts foreign investors and place it in good legal stead.
To Kazeem, besides what Lagos had done to improve alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, the state was embarking on infrastructure upgrade to make it an arbitration hub on the continent.
According to Ankomah, arbitration is getting deepened in Nigeria. He noted that it would be good to have statutes providing for mandatory arbitration in certain matters.
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