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If you are interested in settling an international arbitration dispute in Kenya, please note that local arbitration law is based on English law. It ensures that arbitration in the Republic of Kenya is not burdened with complex procedures that impede its effectiveness and slows down the trade development.

Meanwhile, despite the progressive pro-arbitration legislation, local state courts until recent time have had broad powers to intervene in the settlement of disputes through international arbitration in Kenya.

To remedy the situation, steps have been taken to limit these powers, namely, Kenyan law has been synchronized with EU arbitration law.

To meet international standards

International arbitration has always evolved as a private institution and an alternative to government dispute resolution mechanisms. It has earned such trust and popularity precisely because it is non-governmental.

In world history, there are no examples of the creation of a successful arbitration institution by a separate state, because business will never trust such an institution. No investor wants to refer their disputes with state-owned enterprises and authorities to an arbitration institution, which the state controls. He will want to pass it to where it cannot reach.

After Kenya has synchronized its laws with the Model Law model, it significantly improved the situation and resulted in the decrease of court interference in arbitration proceedings in Kenya. At the moment, it is fully consistent with international practice.

If you intend to initiate an arbitration process in Kenya, it is worth noting that the jurisdiction has introduced:

  • restrictions on the possibility of canceling the decision;
  • empowering arbitrators to correct any errors that would otherwise justify the court intervention;
  • strict deadlines for filing petitions for state court intervention in arbitral awards;
  • confirmation of the finality of the established facts by the arbitrator in relation to interim measures etc.

An organization may commence international arbitration in Kenya if at least one of the below circumstances exists:

  • the commercial enterprises belonging to at least one of the parties are located in different countries;
  • the legal address is outside the jurisdiction.

Where to arbitrate in Kenya

The use of ADR methods in Kenya is guaranteed by the country's Basic Law. If you intend to settle an international commercial dispute in Kenya, you should first check with the local arbitration institutions. The oldest and most popular one is the Nairobi Center which is the international ADR hub. In 2020, the Center hosted an international conference on Arbitration and ADR. The participants discussed the issues of access to international dispute resolution by arbitration in Africa. The country is making efforts to focus on improving arbitration legislation and creating a more pro-arbitration practice in local courts.

Should you need advice on the resolution of international arbitration disputes in Africa, do not hesitate to contact the IQ Decision UK experts in a way convenient for you.