TDM is pleased to announce a forthcoming special issue on international arbitration involving commercial and investment disputes in Africa.
Africa’s accelerating economic development is attracting a substantial increase in cross-border commerce, trade, and investment on the continent, and disputes arising from this increased economic activity are inevitably bound to follow. International arbitration will be the preferred method for resolving many of these disputes. Indeed, the growing focus on international arbitration to resolve commercial and investment disputes relating to Africa is reflected, among other ways, in the fact that the International Council on Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) will be holding its 22nd Congress for the first time in Africa in May 2016 in Mauritius.
To a great extent, the issues that arise in international arbitration in or relating to Africa will be no different than those that arise in arbitrations around the globe. Converging international arbitration procedures and the predictability and stability afforded by the New York Convention and Washington Convention help to ensure that this is the case. Yet party autonomy remains a core value of the international arbitral system, and, as such, regional approaches and local culture will continue to shape African-related arbitrations to a degree, just as they do elsewhere. Africa’s rapid development is also likely to play a role in shaping international arbitration in this region.
This special issue will explore topics of particular interest and relevance to international arbitration in light of Africa’s unique and evolving situation. The issue will focus on sub-Saharan Africa and will address issues pertaining to both commercial and investment arbitration. It will also likely explore alternative methods for resolving disputes, including litigation, mediation, and local dispute-resolution mechanisms.
Possible topics for submission to the special issue might include:
* The proliferation of international arbitral institutions in Africa and what the future holds for institutional arbitration on the African continent;
* The attitudes of African states and state-owned enterprises towards international commercial arbitration;
* Salient issues in the OHADA international arbitration framework;
* The influence of China and other Asian countries on international arbitration in Africa;
* Issues in enforcing arbitral awards in African states;
* Evolving attitudes in Africa towards bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and the extent to which BITs are (or are not) helping African states attract foreign direct investment;
* South Africa’s draft investment law and other notable country-specific developments in Africa;
* Cultural issues impacting international arbitration in Africa;
* Empirical studies relating to international arbitration in Africa;
* Capacity building for arbitrators, judges, and practitioners in the region; and
* Alternative methods of resolving cross-border commercial and investment disputes in Africa.
We invite all those with an interest in the subject to contribute articles or notes on one of the above topics or any other relevant issue.
This special issue will be edited by Thomas R. Snider (Greenberg Traurig LLP), Professor Won Kidane (Seattle University Law School and the Addis Transnational Law Group), and Perry S. Bechky (International Trade & Investment Law PLLC).
Please address all questions and proposals to the editors at SniderT@gtlaw.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com, copied to firstname.lastname@example.org.