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TIME LIMIT TO SET ASIDE AN ARBITRATION AWARD

Dictum

It can easily be observed that the provisions of Section 29 are complementary to the provisions of Section 32 in that they only provide the time limit and the discretion to set aside an award on proof that it contains decisions on matters beyond the scope of the submission to the arbitration. The provisions of the two (2) sections are therefore neither in conflict nor mutually exclusive of each other as erroneously argued by the learned counsel for the Appellant.

– Garba, JCA. Dunlop v. Gaslink (2018)

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ARBITRAL PROCEEDINGS LACK THE SOPHISTICATION OF REGULAR COURTS

In Celtel Nigeria BV v. Econet Wireless Limited (2014) LPELR-22430(CA) @ 60 explained, succinctly, the nature of arbitral proceedings before an Arbitration Tribunal as follows: “An Arbitral Tribunal is by nature an informal adjudicatory body lacking the sophistication and technical know-how of Judges of regular Courts. Arbitral Tribunals are also not bogged down in the procedural trappings of regular Courts. Arbitral proceedings are therefore treated with a broad, liberal/open mind leaning on the side of dynamism, commercial sense, latitude and common sense.”

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PARTY CAN APPLY TO COURT TO SET ASIDE AN ARBITRATION AWARD

The provisions simply provide any of the parties to an arbitration award a discretionary right to request, pray for or seek from a Court of law, an order refusing or declining to accord judicial recognition or enforcement of the arbitral award between them. By dint of the provisions, a party to an arbitral agreement is vested with and possesses the unfettered right to approach a Court of law to request that the arbitration award between the parties, should not be recognized and enforced by the Court. The provisions merely provide a right of access to a Court of law for the sole purpose of requesting for or seeking an order that would refuse to recognize and/or enforce an arbitral award the parties thereto, to any one of them.

– Garba, JCA. Dunlop v. Gaslink (2018)

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AWARD IS BINDING ON PARTIES

What the learned trial Judge recognized and ordered to be enforced was an arbitral award not a judgment. Appellant should have pursued in England by way of an appeal against the arbitral award but failed to do so. The award is binding on the parties and since the arbitral award is not fraudulently procured and it’s not against public policy, the court is bound to give effect to such award.

— Mshelia, JCA. Tulip v Noleggioe (2010) – CA/L/744/07

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JURISDICTION CAN BE RAISED AT ANYTIME NOT APPLICABLE TO ARBITRATION

For instance, the general position of the law that the issue of jurisdiction of a Court can be raised at any stage of the proceedings of a case, even for the first time at the appellate stage, is not applicable to arbitral proceedings before an arbitral Tribunal because the Act, in Section 12(3) has provided the stage at which a challenge to the jurisdiction of the arbitral Tribunal is to or may be raised by a party.

– Garba, JCA. Dunlop v. Gaslink (2018)

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PARTIES ARE BOUND BY ARBITRAL AWARD

Once parties have consented to arbitration, they have also consented to accept the final award by the arbitrator.

– Nimpar, JCA. Dunlop v. Gaslink (2018)

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GENERAL PRINCIPLES APPLICABLE IN REGULAR COURTS ARE NOT APPLICABLE IN ARBITRATION PROCEEDINGS

In this context, the general principles of law laid down and applicable to and in proceedings of the regular Courts in the process of judicial adjudication of causes or matters before them do not ordinarily apply to such quasi judicial arbitral proceedings which the parties by their free and voluntary choice, opted to resort to in the settlement of their disputes rather than the judicial/adjudication of the regular Courts.

– Garba, JCA. Dunlop v. Gaslink (2018)

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