To further promote the legitimacy of arbitration practice in Nigeria, experts and other stakeholders in international commercial arbitration have been urged to uphold independence, impartiality, integrity, as well as, mentoring of the next generation for arbitration practice.
This position was reached at the International Arbitration Conference held at the Lagos Arbitration Court by the Committee on International Commercial Arbitration and ADR of the International Law Association, Nigerian Branch, ILA Nigeria.
The conference themed “Recent Trends and Opportunities in International Commercial Arbitration had over 200 in-person and online participants in attendance.
The pioneer and immediate past Chairperson of the Committee, Mrs. Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour, in her presentation titled “Recent Trends and Opportunities in International Commercial Arbitration”, highlighted a wide range of gaps that still need to be addressed if Nigeria and other African countries are to become preferred arbitration seats.
Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour listed these to include dismantling barriers such as undue delays in the arbitration process, financial hurdles, as well as technology and infrastructure challenges that limit virtual hearings.
She stressed on the progress made in international commercial arbitration which has increased role for African arbitrators and women in arbitration matters across the world.
Also, the new Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Tolulope Aderemi, a partner with the law firm, Perchstone & Graeys LP who has been involved in several high profile domestic and international energy and construction arbitration matters pledged that new executive members will do all within its power to advance the course for improved administration of justice and advocacy for change.
“With the continuing growth of electronic commerce, increase in low volume high value claims, our focus will be to train lawyers to unlearn skills antithetical to the interest of parties and the overall practice or arbitration.
“It is time to work with businesses and move from dispute resolution to conflict avoidance/management,” Aderemi said.
Aderemi applauded the former chairperson, Mrs. Rhodes-Vivour, for her tireless sacrifice and dedication to the development of the ILA.
The highpoint of the conference was the swearing-in of the Aderemi-led executives of the Arbitration Committee.
Other members of the new executive committee include Vice Chairperson, Ofonime Enoh, Foluke Akinmoladun (Secretary), Deinma Dibi (Programs Officer), Mobolaji Oriola (Treasurer) and Shola Soyele (Media and Publicity Officer).
Present at the event were leading arbitrators, President of ILA Nigeria, Prof. Fidelis Oditah, (KC), (SAN), President of the Mauritius Branch of the ILA, Steven Sengayen, Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Isa Hayatu Chiroma, (SAN), Tunde Busari (SAN), Clement Ighodarho Osuya, Nadia Ameh, Ignacio Dais among other dignitaries.