Party autonomy and enforceability of arbitration agreements and awards as the basis of arbitration
thesisposted on 24.04.2014, 10:24 by Levi Onyeisi Wilson Odoe
This thesis starts from the perspective that although certain sections of the Nigeria‘s Arbitration and Conciliation Act 2004 need to be reformed, the principles of the Act are centered on enforceability, fairness, impartiality, avoidance of unnecessary delay, party autonomy and the restriction of unnecessary court intervention. These principles reflect the basis of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International commercial arbitration 1985, the New York Convention 1958 and many modern Arbitration Laws. The object of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act can also be illustrated by Nigeria‘s ratification of the New York Convention in June 1970 and the adoption of the UNCITRAL Model law on international commercial arbitration and model rules in 1985. With the ratification of the New York Convention, the Nigerian national courts have been supporting the enforcements of international commercial arbitration agreements and foreign arbitration awards rendered in any country that is a party to the New York Convention; unless such arbitration agreements and/or awards are contrary to Nigeria‘s public policy as permitted by Article V (Vii) (b) (i) (ii) of the Convention. But, despite all the efforts Nigeria has made in modernising its arbitration laws, and signing up to the major treaties, Nigerian laws and venues are hardly selected in international commercial arbitration agreements most likely because of a lack of awareness by commercial parties that although a few sections of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act need to be reformed, the Act, and indeed, many modern Arbitration laws in Africa are capable of enforcing international commercial arbitration agreements and awards. Accordingly, the present researcher promotes the thesis that, although some sections of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 2004 need to be reformed, the Act is effective, comprehensive, adequate, certain and predictable for the enforcement of international commercial arbitration agreements and awards as those of other countries with modern Arbitration laws.