Litigation, Insights

The Nigerian Arbitration and Mediation Act, 2023 – the Dawn of a New Era for Arbitration and Mediation Practices in Nigeria.

The Arbitration Law of any nation is the established legal framework for resolving disputes outside the traditional court systems by providing parties to a dispute, with a fair and impartial alternative to litigation. As a piece of legislation, it may seek to foster efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and confidentiality in resolving conflicts by allowing parties to choose their own arbitrator(s) and procedural rules, thereby tailoring the process to suit their specific needs and preferences.

On 26 May 2023, the former President of Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari assented to the Arbitration and Mediation Bill 2022 which morphed into the Arbitration and Mediation Act 2023 (“AMA”). The AMA repealed the age-long Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1988 (“ACA”) which had been in existence for over three (3) decades. The enactment of the AMA has been described by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of Nigeria (“CIArb”) as a pivotal tool that will bring significant developments and shape the future of arbitration in Nigeria.1 The above position of the CIArb is not far-fetched, as the explanatory memorandum of the AMA highlights as its purpose, the provision of “a unified legal framework for the fair and efficient settlement of commercial disputes by arbitration and mediation, and make(s) applicable, the convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards (New York Convention) to any award made in Nigeria or in any contracting state arising out of international commercial arbitration.” The article seeks to highlight some of the novel and notable provisions of the AMA…

 

 

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