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In the context of globalization,that is the growing interdependence of the world's economies, cultures, and populations, the settlement of international disputes through arbitration acquires a special meaning. The number and complexity of international transactions is ever increasing. Multinational companies doing business in Africa often prefer arbitration to cross-border litigation, which for many years has been the main tool for resolving commercial disputes in African countries. The reason is  the vagaries of local courts. The reasons for the success of arbitration, particularly in the context of international business relationships, include the neutral forum it provides for the resolution of disputes, which transcends the restrictions of national court systems.

This blog post will briefly explain the main aspects related to arbitration in the African Republic of Ghana. For more information, we offer an individual consultation with an arbitration lawyer in Ghana.

Legal framework

Ghana is a fairly advanced country in terms of arbitration compared to many other African countries. The country is a signatory to the most famous international conventions on arbitration and settlement of investment disputes, including UNCITRAL. The state has concluded 29 bilateral investment agreements with other countries, which simplifies the conduct of international arbitration proceedings in Ghana and provides better chances for the enforcement of awards.

It is essential for the European and US based companies seeking to enforce a judgment in another country, to determine whether that other country has entered into a treaty agreeing to the reciprocal enforcement of judgments with Europe or US, or has otherwise shown a willingness to enforce these judgments in its courts.

The resulting harmonisation of national arbitration laws has increased the efficacy of arbitration as the preferred method for the resolution of international commercial disputes in Ghana.

Nevertheless, we still recommend that local advice should be taken before seeking to enforce an award in a foreign jurisdiction. To enforce a foreign decision in Ghana, it is important to apply to the country's High Court in a timely manner.

When arbitration is not relevant

If you are planning to start arbitration in Ghana, the first thing to look for is the local Alternative Dispute Resolution Act. It regulates domestic and foreign arbitrations. 

If you want to settle a commercial dispute in Ghana, you need to keep in mind that a number of issues are not subject to arbitration. Among them:

  • cases that affect national or public interest;
  • criminal prosecution;
  • violation of human rights.

Our experts provide a consultation on the settlement of disputes by arbitration in Ghana, during which you will be able to find out in detail which disputes can be referred to arbitration and which cannot.

Appeal

An appeal mechanism has not been introduced in this jurisdiction saying finality was more important.

If you are interested in resolving a commercial conflict through arbitration in Ghana, please note that the parties are not allowed to appeal the arbitral award on the merits. It can be another way to show your disagreement with the decision -  the injured party may apply to the High Court for annulment of the decision.

IQ Decision UK specialists provide mediator services in negotiations with foreign contractors. We also provide comprehensive legal assistance at all stages of arbitration in Ghana and other African countries, as well as provide legal assistance in resolving international commercial disputes. We take on sophisticated and high profile cases and handle complex multi-jurisdictional disputes.