Newsletter, Dispute Resolution

Dispute Resolution Newsletter – 2024

Dispute is almost inevitable in every human relation. It is in recognition of this that modern societies have established systems of dispute resolution and evolved rules that make dispute resolution both efficient and effective. Disputes may be resolved by way of litigation or any other alternative system, chief of which is arbitration.

In this newsletter, we examine major developments in 2023 which have the capacity to shape dispute resolution dynamics in 2024 and beyond. These developments cut across decisions of the Supreme Court on established and novel principles of law, and legislative enactments on vital subjects of procedural laws in litigation and arbitration. Specifically, seminal pronouncements have been made by the apex court on our electoral jurisprudence which have left a segment of the political class in a fix on potential remedies. Whereas the protagonists appear to be left to freeze in the cold on how to reap the fruits of the decision, the real antagonists are still basking in the protection that the finality of the Court of Appeal decision in State House or National Assembly election cases affords.

The newsletter also reviews the P&ID arbitral award which has been set aside by the English Court. Whilst Nigeria and the arbitration community erupted in wild jubilation following the set aside of the arbitral award, the last is yet to be heard as P&ID may exercise options within the New York Convention to enforce the otherwise annulled award in a liberal, pro-arbitration jursidction. What defences are available to Nigeria should P&ID decide to enforce in France, for example?

On legislative enactments, novel introductions have been made by the Evidence (Amendment) Act and the Arbitration and Mediation Act. The report interrogates many issues traversing electronic depoisition of affidavit, affixing of digital signature and how to authenticate same, electronic communication of arbitration agreements in relation to international best practices, arbitral award review tribunal – whether such review constitutes an appeal on the merit, and limitation of time in arbitral proceedings.

The essence of this report is to stir a healthy debate on harnessing the gains of the legislative developments in real time, the legitimacy of arbitration as a credible alternative to litigation in modern commerce. Again, it is intended to push the frontiers of our electoral jurisprudence with a view to seeking amendment of the electoral laws to prevent the ugly situation that is already seething through the volatile peace in Plateau State…

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