Arbitration draft complementing international conventions tabled

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

The draft arbitration proclamation that considered the implementation of international conventions that Ethiopia signed has been tabled to parliament.
The draft, ‘Arbitration and conciliation working procedure proclamation’ on its preamble said that the establishment of alternative dispute resolution and reconciliation helps to complement the right to justice and, in particular contribute to the resolution of investment and commercial related disputes and to the development of the sector.
It added that arbitration and conciliation help in rendering efficient decision by reducing the cost of the contradicting parties, protecting confidentiality, allowing the participation of experts and the use of simple procedure which provides freedom to contracting parties.
“It is necessary to provide for a general framework for the identification of arbitral cases, management of arbitration proceedings and execution of decision taking into account the objective condition prevailing in the country,” it said.
And added that the proclamation helps in implementing international treaties acceded and ratified by Ethiopia and it has become necessary to amend the laws in force by taking into account the international practices and principles related to arbitration and conciliation.
Recently the country signed the New York Convention which was ratified by parliament.
Experts in the sector recently told Capital that the acceptance of the international convention will boost the trust of big and international investors to work with Ethiopians and invest in the country. These experts underlined that the government and the private sector should be cautious on getting agreements.
The proclamation indicated that the cases that are non-arbitral are tax cases, judgment of bankruptcy, decision on dissolution of business organizations, all land cases including lease, administrative contract that are excluded where it is permitted by law, trade competition and consumer protection, administrative disputes falling under the powers given to relevant administrative organs by law and others.
Regarding arbitrator article 12, sub article 5, indicated that a person who has previously participated as an attorney, advisor, conciliator or judge of a court shall not serve as an arbitrator in the same case.
Sub article 6 of the same article added that an arbitrator shall not, unless it is found appropriate in the arbitration proceedings, meet with a contradictory party separately or accept any kind of gift from the parties.
According to the proclamation, an arbitration center will be established with the government or private ownership to provide arbitration service.
Article 17, sub article 2, of the proclamation has given a power for Federal Attorney General to supervise the centers, issue and renew license and provided for criteria for the establishment of the same.
The same article sub article 3 stated that the proclamation shall not prohibit existing arbitration centers form being operational. Currently some arbitration is operating in the country. The Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association is the most known.