Institute pledges to raise arbitration standard in Nigeria

Mrs Doyin Rhodes –Vivour

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators has pledged to raise the standard of arbitration in the country.

Its Chairperson, Mrs. Doyin Rhodes-Vivour, made the pledge yesterday at a media forum to announce preparations for its annual conference.

She said the conference would hold from November 2nd to 3rd, 2017 at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos with the theme: “Strengthening the building blocks of arbitration in Africa.”

The chairperson disclosed that the country’s arbitration practices were still based on the 1985 laws, adding that the institute would continue to push for the amendment of the laws.

According to her, the laws need to be updated to meet international standard and the global best practices.

“We expect them to be amended because if anybody wants to choose an arbitration destination, he would first consider if they have up-to-date arbitration laws and efficient judicial system. Also included are the security situations in that destination, which is whether they have strong institutions, as well as the infrastructure.

“For over 100 years, the institute has played a pivotal role in the training of practitioners in arbitration/ADR and developing rules, ethics and guidelines, thereby impacting greatly on the availability of trained and certified arbitrators in several jurisdictions of the world,” she said.

Rhodes-Vivour said the 2017 conference would focus on contemporary frontline issues in the arbitration and ADR in Africa with a view to identifying challenges or steps, to be taken to strengthen arbitration on the continent, in line with international developments and best practices.

She further explained that issues to be discussed are: “The challenges faced in the enforcement of arbitral awards, the recent decisions of African courts that tend to shield African practitioners from competition by foreign counsel.

“The unresolved tensions between federal arbitration regimes and sub-national arbitration regimes in federations as Nigeria, and the increasingly important role that digitalisation is playing in commercial arbitration.”

Other issues are “how arbitration can serve as a catalyst for the socio-economic development in Africa.”

She explained that new members who scaled through the qualitative gold standard training of the institute would be inducted at the event.

Also, the Chairperson, Conference Planning Committee, Mrs. Folashade Alli, said the event would feature selected speakers from the international and national leading lights in their different fields.

She added that the keynote address would be delivered by the Lagos State Governor, Akunwunmi Ambode, while the state Chief Judge, Justice Opeyemi Oke and the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abubakar Mahmoud, would deliver goodwill messages.

Former Attorney General of the federation, Bayo Ojo, (SAN), Partner, Aelex, Mrs. Funke Adekoya (SAN) and Mr. Timothy Lemay of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) would be among the speakers.



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