RETHINKING THE VIABILITY OF INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION IN NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Trade or commercial transactions are usually associated with the possibility of disputes arising and the complications associated with international commercial transactions makes the growth of arbitration both necessary and important. The necessity and importance arises from the fact that the participants in international commercial transactions are from different jurisdictions. Also, the enforcement of rights through litigation will involve the possibility of conflict of laws, high cost and delay in the process of dispute resolution.

The initial inroad into arbitration of international commercial transactions came from the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards also known as the New York Convention, 1958. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) was established by the United Nations General Assembly by its Resolution 2205 (xxi) of 17 December 1966 ‘ ‘‘to promote the progressive harmonization and Unification of International trade law’’.

When world trade began to expand dramatically in the 1960’s, national government began to realize the need for a global set of standards and rules to harmonize national and regional regulations, which until then governed international trade. UCITRAL Arbitration Rules provide a comprehensive set of procedural rules upon which parties may agree for the conduct of arbitral proceedings arising out of their commercial relationship and are widely used in ad hoc arbitrations as well as administered arbitrations.[1] The Rules cover all aspects of the arbitral process, providing a model arbitration clause, setting out procedural rules regarding the appointment of arbitrators and the conduct of arbitral proceedings, and establishing rules in relation to the form, effect and interpretation of the award.[2] At present, there exist three different versions of the Arbitration Rules: (i) the 1976 version; (ii) the 2010 revised version; and (iii) the 2013 version which incorporates the
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RETHINKING THE VIABILITY OF INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION IN NIGERIA