By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
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) with the theme, “Recent Trends and Opportunities in International Commercial Arbitration”.
Speaking after his swearing in as the Chairman of the Arbitration Committee, Mr. Tolulope Aderemi,
said the new executive will advance the course for improved administration of justice and advocacy for change.
Mr Aderemi stressed that, ” it is time to work with businesses and move from dispute resolution to conflict avoidance/management.”
“With this assignment, we will advance the cause for improved administration of justice and advocacy for change”, he said.
The new Chairman added, ” 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.”
Mr Tolulope Aderemi then lauded the outgoing Chairperson, Rhodes-Vivour, SAN, for her tireless sacrifice and dedication to the development of the ILA.
Pioneer and outgoing Chairperson of the Committee, Mrs. Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour, SAN, while opening the conference, in her presentation titled, “Recent Trends and Opportunities in International Commercial Arbitration”, emphasized the progress made in international commercial arbitration especially increasing role for African arbitrators and women in arbitration matters across the world.
Mrs Rhodes-Vivour stressed that there are wide range of gaps that still need to be addressed if Nigeria and other African countries are to become preferred arbitration seats.
According to her, “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.”
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).
The conference had in attendance more than 200 participants both in person and online with 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 Busari, SAN; Nadia Ameh; Ignacio Dais amongst others delivering their goodwill messages.
ILA was founded in Brussels in 1873 and now has some 4,500 members in 45 national and regional branches around the world, with its headquarter in London under the leadership of the global chair, Prof. Christine Chinkin.
The Nigerian Branch of the ILA under the leadership of Prof. 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.