EMERGENCY ARBITRATION IN NIGERIA: LEGAL INNOVATIONS AND PRACTICE

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23rd April 2024

By Damilola Akinsanya

 

 

 

Emergency Arbitration in Nigeria: Legal Innovations and Practice

  1. Introduction

Historically, arbitration did not offer any remedy in cases where emergency reliefs were necessary. A look into the earliest arbitration laws and rules showed that emergency reliefs and conservatory measures were not conceived to be under the purview of arbitration. As a result, parties, despite having agreed to refer their disputes to arbitration had to approach the courts for injunctions and other interim reliefs in matters of extreme urgency.

Even when arbitral institutions began to recognise the importance of conservatory measures, the rules still arrogated the power to grant such measures to the national courts. For instance, the 1955 ICC Arbitration Rules while recognising the importance of interim measures of protection in cases of urgency provided that parties may approach any competent judicial authority for such measures of protection, without thereby contravening the arbitration clause binding them. This provision was reproduced in the 1975, 1988 and 1998 ICC Rules.

However, the 1998 ICC Rules went further by taking the first step to imbue the arbitral tribunal itself with the competence to make interim or conservatory orders.
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