CJ calls for urgent amendment of Arbitration Law in Nigeria

BY  IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI, Abuja

Worried over the increasing backlog of cases bedeviling various courts in Nigeria, the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Lawal. H. Gunmi, has stressed urgent need for a review of the current Arbitration Law in the country with a view to entrenching the Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR, mechanism into the societal psyche.

Speaking at a one day interactive session between the Abuja chapter of the chartered institute of arbitrators (UK) and Judges of the High Court, Justice Gunmi, noted that “arbitration has become the preferred means of resolving most commercial disputes because the process provides a neutral, speedy and expert administered dispute resolution process, in a single centralized forum, with enforceable and final decisions.”

“It is our duty to encourage this global trend within our own area of practice by ensuring that arbitration is not practised in a way that deals a death blow to its fundamental objects which include  speed, cost effectiveness, and above all as just determination of the issues submitted to the tribunal for determination.

“From my vantage position, I can say for certain that the number of requests for arbitration has increased in the last one year and naturally, the court has witnessed a corresponding increase in the number of challenges against awards delivered and on the other hand an appreciable increase in the number of applications praying court to recognize and enforce those awards.

“I doubt if there is a better forum than this to advise on the urgent need to take a look again at the current Arbitration Law to bring it in line with modern realities and standard international best practices in commercial arbitration.”

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