The reasoning of the court was founded on the principle of finality of arbitral awards and their subsequent enforcement. In the court’s opinion, arbitration required courts to exercise limited functions over arbitral matters. This denoted that the High Court could not be assumed to exercise appellate jurisdiction over arbitral awards as this would open arbitral decisions to constant judicial review. Instead, parties were only allowed to apply to the High Court to set aside the award. An application for setting aside an award was narrower as it was confined to the grounds enumerated under section 35 of the Act. Further, the court declined to admit new evidence because it would lead to endless litigation. New evidence could only be admitted if it met the three principles required for admitting new evidence or if such evidence was deemed to be needful by the court.
- Section 35 of the Act provides that parties may approach the High Court for the setting aside of an award. However, the High Court does not exercise appellate jurisdiction when hearing such matters. Instead, it exercises original jurisdiction which allows it to admit a setting aside application that is confined to the grounds listed under section 35 of the Act.
- Rule 29 of the Court of Appeal for East Africa Rules grants the Court of Appeal the power to admit additional or new evidence. This includes evidence from the High Court on an arbitral matter. Nonetheless, this discretion is not unfettered because such evidence may only be admitted if it is needful or if it meets the disjunctive tripartite test for admission of new evidence (The applicant must show that the evidence could not have been obtained with reasonable diligence at the trial court; It must be shown that the evidence has a substantial influence on the result of the case; Such evidence must be apparently credible, even though it is not entirely incontrovertible).
SUMMARY- NATIONAL CEREALS & PRODUCE BOARD V ERAD SUPPLIERS & GENERAL CONTRACTS LIMITED
RULING-NATIONAL CEREALS & PRODUCE BOARD V ERAD SUPPLIERS & GENERAL CONTRACTS LIMITED