Lagos, 30 November 2022 –Leading experts and stakeholders in international commercial arbitration have called for greater devotion to independence, impartiality, integrity, as well as, mentoring of the next generation in order to sustain the legitimacy of the practice of arbitration in Nigeria.
This recommendation was made at the International Arbitration Conference organized by the Committee on International Commercial Arbitration and ADR of the International Law Association, Nigerian Branch (ILA Nigeria). Themed, Recent Trends and Opportunities in International Commercial Arbitration, the event was held at the Lagos Arbitration Court and had in attendance more than 200 participants both in person and online. Several dignitaries and leading arbitrators, including the 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 Bosere, SAN, Nadia Ameh, Ignacio Dais amongst others, graced the occasion and delivered goodwill messages.
While opening the conference, the pioneer and outgoing Chairperson of the Committee, Mrs. Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour, SAN gave a powerful presentation titled “Recent Trends and Opportunities in International Commercial Arbitration”. She emphasized the progress made in international commercial arbitration especially increasing role for African arbitrators and women in arbitration matters across the world, while also highlighting a wide range of gaps that still need to be addressed if Nigeria and other African countries are to become preferred arbitration seats. This will 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 noted.
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The highpoint of the conference was the swearing in of the new executives of the Arbitration Committee, under the leadership of the Chairman, Mr. Tolulope Aderemi, a foremost arbitrator and partner with the law firm, Perchstone & Graeys LP who has been involved in several high profile domestic and international energy and construction arbitration matters. Other members of the executive committee include Vice Chairperson, Ofonime Enoh, Foluke Akinmoladun (Secretary), Deinma Dibi (Programs Officer), Mobolaji Oriola (Treasurer) and Shola Soyele (Media and Publicity Officer). While responding on behalf of the new executives, Aderemi commended the outgoing Chairperson, Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour, SAN for her tireless sacrifice and dedication to the development of the ILA.
Aderemi noted “With this assignment, we will 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.” he concluded.
The ILA was founded in Brussels in 1873. The ILA now has some 4,500 members in 45 national and regional branches around the world. It is headquartered in London under the leadership of the global chair, Professor Christine Chinkin. The Nigerian Branch of the ILA under the leadership of Professor Fidelis Oditah, KC, SAN, regularly hosts innovative lectures, seminars, conferences, and other capacity development programs to advance the study and understanding of international law in Nigeria. To learn more about the ILA, its activities, and events visit http://www.ila-hq.org