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Litigious Arbitration: The African Lawyer and His Many Hats by Adebayo Adenipekun, SAN, FCIArb*

20 Sept 2018

Litigation is the commonest legal practice area in Africa. In Nigeria, for example, people here associate lawyers solely with litigation and disputes. As a result, litigation has come to be viewed as a rough venture, a contact sport. The tactics employed by lawyers in litigating disputes – the evisceration of witnesses under cross-examination without care for boundaries, the willingness to foray into shameful and scandalous questions and the use of a whole range of guerrilla tactics – further serve to smear the image of the process to the potential litigant. There are also personal religious and cultural beliefs that precipitate either total reluctance to initiate a court process or real unwillingness to invoke the court against a class of persons. Add to that the fact that much like a war, the only thing that is certain of the timing of a court action is the date of commencement. It is anybody’s guess how long hostilities will last. In sum, parties are loathe to litigate against persons with whom they would desire future timely relations.

Enforcement/setting aside of Arbitral Award by Prof. Paul Idornigie*

17 Sept 2018

On the 10th day of January, 2017, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria in Suit No: FCT/HC/CV/610/14 before His Lordship, Hon. Justice A.B. Mohammed delivered a judgment in the case involving ABANG ODOK V. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF BAYELSA STATE (available here), on a matter for the enforcement/setting aside of the Final Award of Professor Paul Obo Idornigie, SAN, PhD, C.Arb, Sole Arbitrator. The Final Award was rendered on 17 January, 2014.   Abang Odok was the Claimant in the arbitral proceedings while Attorney General of Bayelsa State was the Respondent.  The Claimant was also the Applicant (Award Creditor) at the High Court while the Respondent was still the Respondent (Award Debtor).  

Successor to LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre publishes new arbitration rules by Duncan Bagshaw*

9 Sept 2018

The Mauritius International Arbitration Centre ("MIAC"), which was recently established in Mauritius to succeed the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre, has published its first Arbitration Rules.

As recently reported in an earlier blog (here), LCIA-MIAC recently terminated operations after the LCIA decided to withdraw from the agreement with the Government of Mauritius under which the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre operated.

Shaping Investment Arbitration: The Experience of COMESA and SADC** by Dr. Rukia Baruti*

9 July 2018

The development of international investment arbitration beyond its contractual basis is a relatively recent phenomenon.  Not too long ago, it was inconceivable – unless consent to arbitrate had been given in a concession contract – for private investors to initiate direct arbitration against host States.  But neither Contracting Party to the first bilateral investment treaty (‘BIT’) nor signatory of the 1965 Convention on the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (‘ICSID Convention’)[2] would have foreseen that they had unwittingly participated in a chain of events that would ultimately limit host States’ sovereign powers and open other bases up for direct arbitration by private investors.

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