Seventh SOAS Arbitration in Africa Conference
25 – 26 November 2021 – Casablanca
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Title: Navigating the Interests of African States in International Arbitration & Mediation.Our 2021 Conference will be held on 25-26 November 2021. Joining details & the details of the conference will be circulated in due time. This change is necessitated by the ongoing global pandemic (Covid-19).
Conference and Research Project BackgroundIt is well acknowledged that the level of participation by African states in the global arbitral discourse is much less than the numbers of arbitration references it generates. Such participation is measured on the numbers of arbitration references that hold in the continent (as seat of arbitration); the numbers of arbitrators of African origin that are appointed as members of such arbitral tribunals; the numbers of African law firms/practices or lawyers that represent clients/disputants in such references; the numbers and caseload of arbitration institutions that administer arbitral references. This project therefore empirically and systematically examines the reasons for this weak showing by each of four identified stakeholders and suggests remedial actions over an agreed period of time. Such remedial actions will be monitored for a shift (or not) in the desired direction. The shift will be for an increase in the numbers of arbitrations held within the continent; increase in the numbers of arbitrators of African origin appointed; increase in the numbers of African lawyers representing disputants in such references; increase in the caseload of arbitration institutions; and increase in the numbers of published arbitration related court decisions. There is currently no viable empirical research in this field in the continent to inform decisions, revision of laws and knowledge and practice sharing across the continent.
- The State (Governments): provision of legal and physical infrastructure and enabling environment for arbitration to thrive in the resolution of disputes from domestic and transnational transactions.
- Courts and Judges: informed decision-making on arbitration related disputes which it will adjudicate upon and contribute to the development of global arbitral jurisprudence; what I call the ‘African voices’ will participate in the shaping of emanating global arbitral jurisprudence. The scholarship of their decisions and judicial reasoning will also begin to restore respect for and confidence in the judiciary in these countries.
- Arbitration institutions: to meet international best practices in the administration of arbitration references and strategically share the arbitral market space in Africa.
- Legal service providers: will engage primarily lawyers who advise and represent disputants and act as arbitrators: to continue to share best practices and support for the process of arbitration in purely domestic disputes and those arising from intra-African and international transactions.