The UK dispute resolution community has a role to play in reassuring businesses that arbitration is a reliable process to settle disputes in Africa, says Head of Global Arbitration, Paula Hodges KC, in a new report for the UK Government’s Ministry of Justice (MOJ).
Over the past two years the MOJ and GREAT Legal Services (which promotes the UK’s legal services worldwide) have worked on a number of projects with top legal media brand Africa Legal to better understand, interact with and support Africa’s diverse, vibrant and innovative legal sector.
Following the recent London International Disputes Week (LIDW), the report represents an opportune moment to examine the progress and challenges faced by Africa in the realm of dispute resolution. The research report comes at a critical time, shedding light on the continent’s evolving landscape as it increasingly adopts arbitration and mediation as forms of dispute resolution.
In the report, Paula comments that in the coming years, arbitration will continue to play a role in helping companies gain confidence about doing business in African jurisdictions, providing reassurance that they have a neutral dispute resolution process at hand if something goes wrong. The UK also potentially has a role to play in the future of African arbitration by providing training to local judges about how to support arbitral proceedings, she says. “That will also give international companies more confidence in having arbitration proceedings take place in Africa and will build mutual trust between the UK and local practitioners.”
“Africa is an exciting, evolving and growing legal market and we’re delighted to be supporting work that brings UK and African practitioners together against the backdrop of London International Disputes Week,” commented Simon Barrett, Director of Communications, UK Ministry of Justice. “Insight gathered for this report provides useful context for discussions that shine a light on some of the barriers experienced by practitioners, and can shift the dial on what needs to change to better integrate learning between multiple jurisdictions.”