MISCELLANEOUS CIVIL CASE NO. 001 OF 2020
Rationale & Relevance
The Judge adopted a very narrow/strict interpretation of the public policy ground for setting aside an arbitral award prescribed by Section 35(2) of the Arbitration Act in order to respect the integrity of arbitral proceedings.
In order to satisfy the existence of the public policy ground, a party would have to strictly prove that the manner in which the arbitral proceedings were conducted or the manner in which the decision was arrived at was contrary to public policy.
In this matter, the Respondent did not prove so and thus, their Application was dismissed. The bone of contention ended up being in respect of the merits of the award, of which the court ought not to intervene as was held in the case of Nyutu Agrovet vs Airtel Network Limited and Others (2019) eKLR and Cape Holdings Ltd vs Synergy Industrial Credits Ltd. (2016) eKLR.
Section 35(2) of the Arbitration Act sets out the conditions under which an Arbitral Award may be set aside.
The case of Christ of All Nations vs Apollo Insurance Co. Limited is the landmark precedent regarding the public policy ground for setting aside an arbitral award.
It is NOT the role of the court to review and/or sit on appeal over the decision of an Arbitrator. This limit is prescribed by Section 35 of the Arbitration Act. The leading precedent is Nyutu Agrovet vs Airtel Network Limited and Others.