Book release: Contemporary issues in Arbitration
In July 2013, I had the privilege of attending, as the Trustee for Africa on the Board of Trustees of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) in London, to speak at the first ever CIArb Kenya Branch Regional Conference. One paper arrested my attention and curiosity: a Mr Paul Ngotho's “The Bastard Provision In Kenya’s Arbitration Act”, which forms Chapter16 in this book.
Lacing his presentation with anecdotes and humour, which kept participants reeling with laughter, Mr Ngotho convinced all and sundry why the provision of the Kenyan Arbitration Act s. 6.(1), which relates to “entering appearance”, should be amended to enhance access to justice through arbitration. There and then, I decided to invite him to present a paper at the 2014 Biannual African Round Table on Arbitration organised by the International Centre for Arbitration and Mediation Abuja Nigeria (ICAMA). As expected, he acquitted himself very well with in Abuja with “The Messing Links” , the first substantive chapter of the book. It therefore gives me gives me great pleasure to write this foreword.
From the first chapter through “Challenges Facing Arbitrators in Africa” to “Pathological Arbitration Clauses...”, Mr Ngotho takes the reader from the elementary to the most advanced concepts in arbitration, guiding him or her through the current antecedents of the law and the future.
I endorse the author's view that arbitration is a credible method of resolving disputes. Arbitration does not exist merely to relieve courts of back-log of cases, considering that countries which have efficient courts are the greatest users of arbitration. African arbitrators must, therefore, continue championing the cause of arbitration here and abroad.
To my colleagues at the bar, members of the bench and others who are still sceptical of arbitration, I commend the wisdom of the great Mahatma Gandhi, a lawyer, in one of his treatises where he said: "I had learnt the true practice of law. I had learnt to find out the better side of human nature, and to enter men's hearts. I realised that the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven as under. The lesson was so indelibly burnt unto me that the large part of my time, during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer, was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby, not even money, certainly not my soul."
Mr Ngotho, as those who have interacted with him can attest, is a passionate advocate of arbitration. His non-conventional approach to issues is refreshing while his background as an economist enriches the substance of his presentations, making this book not only compelling to read but also a valuable addition to the growing Africa-grown literature on arbitration.
The book's publication in commemoration of the launch of the Nairobi Centre For International Arbitration is indeed timely in the promotion of international arbitration in Africa. I, therefore, do not hesitate to commend the book to arbitration practitioners, academicians and students in and outside Kenya for insights into arbitration and its many inherent benefits.
Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN, CON
Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
5th December 2016
Contemporary Issues in Arbitration by Paul Ngotho, FCIArb, Chartered Arbitrator, is a newly published book on a uniquely diverse range of matters in Arbitration. Available at Ksh.2,500/= (plus postage out of Nairobi at cost)
Bookstop, 2nd Floor, Yaya Centre
CIArb Kenya Branch, Nairobi
For book review and further details click here.