The role of courts in commercial arbitration in Uganda:

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Kampala International University, School of law
Despite all the advantages of commercial arbitration, it has never been considered as an entirely independent and complete dispute settlement system and as such has been traditionally assisted by national courts. Nevertheless, the optimum model for courts' involvements in commercial arbitration is not clear. More importantly, given the latest development in the theory and practice of commercial arbitration both during domestic arbitration and international arbitration, the necessity and nature of such involvement is under question. Accordingly, this study aimed to determine the optimum scenario of court involvement in commercial arbitration in order to enhance its efficiency. The study relied mainly of doctrinal research methodology where both primary and secondary sources of information were identified and analyzed. The study revealed that court involvement in commercial arbitration may occur in several ways which sometimes lead to delays and complications. These include, before the establishment of arbitral tribunal, at the commencement of arbitration process, during the arbitration and finally at the time of recognition and enforcement of the arbitral award especially in international arbitration. Court intervention is arbitral proceedings may sometimes result in undesirable outcomes especially where parties resort to interim measures as a form of delay tactic. In addition, whilst the Arbitration and Conciliation Act provides for the enforcement of arbitral awards, the process can be slow and cumbersome. There is also a lack of clarity on the grounds for challenging an award, which can lead to disputes over the enforcement of awards. It is therefore recommended that the judiciary should develop practice directions for magistrates regarding arbitration and to include arbitration and other ADR mechanisms in performance measurement for judicial officers.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of master of laws (commercial) of Kampala International University
Courts, Commercial arbitration, Uganda