BOOK REVIEW: ARBITRATION IN AFRICA
This book gives focuses on arbitration law regimes and practices of key African jurisdictions as the running theme at a crucial time in the development of international dispute resolution on the continent.
It gives a comprehensive and thoroughly updated outlook on the state of arbitration law in 30 African countries on a country by country basis relevant to their political, judicial and legal framework, while factoring in their economic and political climate. The authors analyze the legal systems, their relation to arbitration regimes, both locally and internationally, and the state of enforcement of local and international arbitral awards at a time when there are very limited publications giving such a unique critical and comparative analysis.
The effect of this approach is that government lawyers, arbitration practitioners and scholars can review Africa’s unique challenges and triumphs in arbitration practice in a bid to place Africa at a position where it can maximize on the inflow of foreign direct investments to the continent. It also provides a reference point for international legal practitioners managing cases in Africa.
The need for African States to open and develop their own arbitration institutions to cover for an increasing number of cross border disputes cannot be emphasized enough; this book points out and develops that theme.
The book also highlights the varying commitments of different judicial systems in aiding arbitration. The essence of non-interference in arbitral proceedings by legal, political and judicial authorities in African countries is developed, given the age old challenge arbitration has witnessed of subversion of its mandate by the courts. The protection accorded by African countries to arbitration clauses is also featured with a keen analysis on the courts’ interpretation on arbitration clauses that lack clarity.
While focusing on Africa’s arbitration landscape in both a current and historical context, this book highlights case law spanning various and diverse jurisdictions in the continent, subsequently rendering it a much needed reference for Arbitration matters in Africa.
Its authors are renowned legal practitioners specializing in the field of International Arbitration in Africa and beyond. John Miles, is the Managing Director of JMiles & Co a legal service entity based in Nairobi, Tunde Fagbohunlu SAN is partner and head of the Litigation, Arbitration and ADR Practice Group at Aluko & Oyebode, a leading Nigerian law firm while Kamal Rasiklal Shah is head of Stephenson Harwood LLP’s Africa and India groups.
In 553 pages the authors have reviewed 275 cases in addition to the arbitration laws, political landscape of over 30 African countries. In its own words, “The arbitration landscape covered by this book has also encompassed key jurisdictions in the Islands of Africa as well as Francophone countries under the 'Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa' (OHADA) legal system. The need for such an unparalleled Arbitration research in Africa cannot be emphasised enough.”
The proper application of law and jurisprudence in African countries can only be improved if those countries are alive to the state of arbitration in their respective jurisdictions; this book captures this state in a detailed and exhaustive fashion at the turn of every page.
By: Charles Kimani (Young Arbiters Society)