The Ghana Arbitration Centre was established on the initiative of a number of senior Ghana Lawyers to address a critical need in the country’s system of resolving civil disputes. For some time, successive Chief Justices of Ghana, the Ghana Bar Association, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and the Private Enterprise Foundation have all called for the introduction of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, such as arbitration, to alleviate the congestion in the courts and to enhance expertise and specialization in certain areas of the law, in particular, commercial and investment law.
The general public also yearns for more expeditious and cost-effective procedures for dispute settlement as a viable alternative to the normal process of litigation in the courts.
There is a strong consensus within the legal profession and the business community in Ghana that the establishment of the Ghana Arbitration Centre will reinforce the legal framework for protecting commercial or economic interests and accordingly inspire the confidence of the prospective investor in Ghana.
This derives from the growing realization, informed by international experience, that the existence of a viable, reliable, fair and expeditious system of dispute settlement is a key ingredient of the enabling environment for private sector development and for domestic and foreign investment.
The Centre was sponsored by a cross-section of senior members of the Ghanaian legal profession that included a retired Supreme Court Judge, seasoned practitioners in commercial law and arbitration, the current and former Director of Legal Education and Head of the Ghana School of Law, a former Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Ghana, the current and Past President of the Ghana Bar Association, Director of Legal Divisions in the financial, investment and international sectors of the public service and a former director of an international institution who is an international commercial arbitrator.
The Ghana Arbitration Centre is an autonomous, non-profit making institution, incorporated in October 1996, as a company limited by guarantee under the Companies Code, 1963 (Act 179).
Our Objectives are;
The objects of the Centre are:
- To provide a forum for the Resolution of disputes through Arbitration, and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms (ADR).
- To promote the resolution of disputes through Arbitration and ADR and the study of the laws, rules, practices and procedures relating thereto.
- To promote opportunities for educating the public through the reading of papers , delivering of lectures and the holding of seminars on the subjects of Arbitration and ADR.
- To publish or assist in the publication of proceeding of the Centre and of books, articles and papers on Arbitration and ADR.
- To sponsor, study and research in Arbitration and ADR and provide fellowships, grants, scholarships and bursaries for this purpose to deserving applicants.
- To affiliate and or co-operate with any other Centre, societies or organizations which have similar objectives.
- To provide accreditation for members of the Centre to act as arbitrators or mediators or conciliators in resolving domestic and international disputes.
Recourse to the Centre
- Parties to a contract may provide in advance in the contract that disputes arising under or in connection with the contract will be referred to the Centre for Settlement by arbitration or conciliation or other ADR.
- Parties to a dispute which may or may not be pending before a court may also agree adhoc to refer such a dispute to the Centre for resolution by Arbitration or other ADR.
- The Centre will maintain a National Panel of Arbitrators and Conciliators, being accredited members of the Centre who have been duly selected to act in these capacities.
- Parties who refer disputes to the Centre for settlement may appoint arbitrators or conciliators, as the case may be, directly or request the Centre’s assistance in selecting them from the above panel. It has to be stressed that the selection of arbitrators or conciliators is the prerogative of the parties to the dispute. The Centre may offer assistance if mandated by the parties.
- The Centre has issued Arbitration Rules that will govern the initiation and conduct of Arbitration proceedings. Under the auspices of the Centre, the Arbitration agreement between parties to a dispute that provide for arbitration under the auspices of the Centre. In due course, the Centre will formulate appropriate rules to govern conciliation proceedings.