Conference calls for mutual arbitration of disputes
Written by: Administrator
Thursday, September 28th, 2017, 20:22
The fifth edition of the East Africa International Arbitration Conference taking place in Kigali has called for the use of arbitrators rather than judges. Themed “Linkages between International Arbitration and Africa’s economy,” the annual event is aimed at highlighting the importance of international arbitration in African dispute resolution.
Speaking at the conference, Rwanda’s Chief Justice, Prof. Sam Rugege, highlighted the importance of arbitration and discouraged people to go in courts.
“Arbitration is very important as a way of resolving disputes. We call it one of the alternative methods of resolving disputes, alternative to court processes. Because court processes or litigation take a lot of time, it happens in public, anybody will know what you are disputing about, what you are fighting about. And yet in these cases of investments between investors and countries or between individuals, most of the time they want privacy, they want confidentiality of their documents, they don’t want things to go out in the open” noted Prof Rugege.
He added that in arbitration people choose their arbitrators who are able to resolve problems according to the law just like it would be in court except that they have their privacy and confidentiality.
“In arbitration, when you choose arbitrators you choose experts, people who are knowledgeable about the subject matter of your case, so have experts who are dealing with your case in confidential manner and it resolved and finished quickly” Chief justice emphasised.
Dr Fidel Masengo, the Executive Director of Kigali International Arbitration Centre said that you cannot compare the costs of arbitration and costs in courts because you need to consider the time of solving a dispute. You can pay more and spend a lot of years in courts, but in a centre you can spend little time and pay less.
The conference featured practitioners and thought leaders from various legal organizations and arbitration institutes around the world and will cover topics ranging from: East Africa’s mega projects and monetary value involved in East Africa-related international arbitration; the value of awards and how much money is potentially lost by countries (damages); and the potential of international arbitration as a money maker for African institutions and arbitrators, considering institutional fees and arbitrator fees.
The conference is engaging and informative experience. It is an unparalleled opportunity for in-house counsel and legal practitioners to gain a broader and deeper understanding of international arbitration, share best practice and network.
Rwanda through KIAC is the leading arbitration centre in Africa. The centre administers cases both under The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) rules and its own rules and currently has the largest caseload of all African arbitral institutions at 68 cases.