Introduction to Arbitration in Ghana
The growth of arbitration in Ghana may be attributed to the oft-cited inherent advantages associated with the dispute resolution method (ie, speed, flexibility, the privacy and the finality of outcomes). However, it may also be attributed to the statutory and judicial blessings that arbitration has received
and continues to receive in judicial and legislative arenas. Thus, while national courts and arbitral tribunals offer independent platforms for dispute resolution; arbitral tribunals rely significantly on courts for assistance in the course of their work.
Ghana can boast of the passage of the ADR Act, 2010 (Act 780) which repealed the former Arbitration Act. This Act laid the framework for the growth of Arbitration in Ghana. Ghana’s rules for arbitration are comparable with those for internationally acclaimed arbitral tribunals. Having laid down the regulatory framework for the process, it now behoves the arbitrators and the courts of Ghana to ensure that the vision of the legislators of the Act, to make Ghana a global hub for arbitration, is realized.
Developments in Arbitration in Ghana that this review covers
The review, especially of case law developments, will show that courts are supportive of arbitration and have, in deserving instances, referred matters brought before courts in breach of valid arbitration agreements, to arbitration. This is consistent with the role that the courts have played and continue to play.
This article is divided into two parts. The first part considers legislative developments in the area of arbitration. The second part will focus on case law development, touching on a number of important questions. These questions include:
- whether interim arbitral awards are enforceable in Ghana;
- whether the need to preserve a party’s right to arbitrate constitutes an exceptional circumstance for the purpose of a grant of application for stay of proceedings; and
- whether a court, in making reference to arbitration, is entitled to refer part of the claim to arbitration and exercise jurisdiction over part of the claim not caught within the web of the arbitration agreement.
The in-roads Ghana has made so far, the challenges Arbitration in Ghana still faces and the way forward addressed this article. Click here to read the full article