By NOELA EBOB BISONG
About 60 advocates of the Common Law of the Cameroon Bar in Limbe have been schooled on the dynamics of International Arbitration in line with their professional ethics. This was during a one-day seminar organized by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, on July 26, 2019. The one-day seminar which took place at the Conference Room of the Atlantic Beach Hotel in Limbe, was hosted by PROPEACE, a Non-governmental Organisation headed by Barrister Asoh Epey of Peace Law Firm in Limbe.
The objective of the seminar is to introduce participants to the place of international arbitration in Cameroon and the role of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) in the promotion of arbitration as a dispute settlement mechanism and their place in the management and handling of disputes that are addressed to them by litigating parties.
According to Dr Duga Titanji (Barrister at Law and Senior Lecturer of Laws) main speaker, presently, arbitration, as a form of dispute settlement is strongly regaining its place and increasing advocates and litigants choose it as a convenient forum for dispute settlement, reason why there is need for the lawyers to be grounded in what arbitration entails.
“Arbitration occupies a very important place in the OHADA organization”, Dr Duga notes, and reveals that “Little wonder that this institution has enacted the Uniform Act on Arbitration and the CCJA Arbitration Rules adopted by the Council of Ministers of OHADA on the 11th of March 1999 in Ouagadougou”.
Dr Duga further notes that though advantageous over other forms of dispute settlement, yet Arbitration still remains an under-utilized mode for dispute settlement: “This is partly due to the fact that advocates are not usually quite versed with the inherent advantages of arbitration and the fact that the arbitral process is it self shrouded with unusual technicalities”.
In the course of the seminar moderated by Barristers Gilbert Abunaw and Awungngia T, issues like The Notion of Arbitration, Forms of Arbitration, their Terms of Reference as well as a detailed presentation of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, its recent developments and prospects for the Common Law system in general and the Common Law Advocate in Cameroon were central in the discussions during the one-day seminar. Equally, a presentation on professional ethics for the Common Law Lawyer also featured. Other speakers during the one-day event included Barrister Gilbert Tangunyi and Eru Amem Takem.
It should be recalled that in line with the importance of Arbitration in the settlement of disputes, PROPEACE had earlier on organized a seminar in Limbe for Advocates of Common Law, where they were introduced to the use of Arbitration as a mechanism for the settlement of disputes and in particular how to draft a winning arbitration clause in important contracts.