Wingate EO & Okoli PN (2021) Judicial Intervention in Arbitration: Unresolved Jurisdictional Issues Concerning Arbitrator Appointments in Nigeria. Journal of African Law, 65 (2), pp. 223-243. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0021855321000103
Parties find it difficult to determine which Nigerian High Court should intervene in the appointment of arbitrators due to conflicting judicial precedents. This perennial challenge has defied any legal solution. Considering relevant case law, this article examines the Arbitration and Conciliation Act (ACA) vis-à-vis the Nigerian Constitution. The main argument is that the Nigerian Constitution read alongside the ACA confers the Federal High Court with additional jurisdiction to appoint arbitrators regardless of which court has jurisdiction concerning the underlying dispute. There are also uncertainties regarding the intervention jurisdiction of Nigeria's National Industrial Court to appoint arbitrators. Currently, no other court can exercise intervention jurisdiction in employment disputes. This article analyses recent decisions of the National Industrial Court and argues that this Court can only intervene to appoint arbitrators where both parties request the appointment in a pending action before the Court. It is also argued that decisions concerning the appointment of arbitrators through judicial intervention can be appealed.
Arbitration; subject matter jurisdiction; legal complexity; appointment of arbitrators; appeals; courts; judicial intervention; dispute resolution
Journal of African Law: Volume 65, Issue 2
|Publication date online||30/04/2021|
|Date accepted by journal||27/07/2020|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press (CUP)|