The court’s finding was based upon the principle of finality of awards and their subsequent enforcement. Relying on American jurisprudence, the court was of the view that the finality of arbitral awards and their subsequent enforcement ought to be respected. Otherwise, arbitration would lose its core appeal of expediency and timeliness. The court’s reasoning was also based upon the role of courts in arbitration, which was unnecessary unless they were invited to intervene by the arbitration act in question. Thus, judicial review of arbitral decisions had to be very minimal.
- Under section 35 (3) of the Act, parties are not allowed to make applications to set aside an arbitral award after 3 months. These timelines should be strictly enforced to ensure that arbitration achieves its core value of expediency and timeliness. Courts should therefore embrace a pro-arbitration policy and refrain from judicial review of arbitral matters especially where the timelines for raising complaints have elapsed.
- Section 39 of the Act sets out specific requirements for the court’s intervention in a matter already submitted to arbitration. The prior consent of all parties should be obtained before submitting it to the court. Further, the court may only address issues of law and not of fact. While such an intervention is originally reserved for the High Court, the parties may also submit the matter to the Court of Appeal if they agree to do so before the award was given. Alternatively, their questions of law must be of general importance in the eyes of the court to the extent that it substantially affects the rights of the parties. Failure to meet these requirements will result in the court’s refusal to adjudicate the matter.