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Truth About Case of Adrian Radcliffe vs Kena Properties Ltd

Ignore misleading blog reports. Mr. Adrian Radcliffe has not been reinstated to any land as at 30th March, 2022. The stay of execution of his orders obtained on 10th March 2022 was extended on Thursday 24th March, 2022. The matter is set for mention on Monday 4th April 2022.



The case of Adrian Radcliffe vs Kena Properties Ltd & Others is a curious one to watch being a tussle between an innocent purchaser for value (Kena Properties Ltd) of 5.7 Acre Plot of Land in Karen and a squatter expatriate (Adrian Radcliffe) who had lived on the land for 33 years without paying rent (except rent deposit paid in August 1989) and whose adverse possession claim was dismissed by Court in 2011.

Contrary to the misleading media and blog reports, a perusal of the Court File confirms that Mr. Adrian Radcliffe and Family have not been reinstated on the land. The stay of execution of their orders obtained on 10th March 2022 was extended on Thursday 24th March, 2022 and the matter is set for mention on Monday 4th April 2022 to confirm if all parties have filed submissions on the stay application.

Why Mr. Adrian Radcliffe, a well-to-do Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) UNICEF consultant and former UN employee (who was earning hefty House Allowance), defaulted in paying rent for 33 years on the prime plot of land in Karen, while living large and taking his kids to most expensive schools in Kenya is a conundrum. No question a local Kenyan could never have gotten away with such selfish impunity.

But Mr. Adrian Radcliffe is not satisfied with not paying rent all his adult life. He also wants to ride on the fact that he had gotten away with living rent-free as a tenant on the prime 5.7 Acre Land for 33 years to become the owner of the land. But the court stopped him on his tracks in February 2011 finding that he was a mere tenant having acknowledged the land owner and his estate agent on 31st July 1997.

Indeed, the fact that Mr. Adrian Radcliffe is not the owner of the land in question and was a mere tenant has been res judicata (settled) since 28th February 2011 when the High Court dismissed his adverse possession claim filed on 20th December 2005. Justice Kalpana Rawal (as she then was) reached the decision after finding that Mr. Adrian Radcliffe had blatantly lied in his pleadings. (see the Judgment).

The High Court concluded that: “His [Mr. Adrian Radcliffe] averments that he did not have any idea of the whereabouts of the Defendant and that he could possibly be not alive, were not only very sad but mala fide in view of the correspondence on record addressed by him to the Defendant’s wife. I would thus find that the averments made by him to the contrary are untrue looking to the facts of this case.”

In other words, Mr. Adrian Radcliffe in his pleadings of 2005 told the court the owner of the land could not possibly be alive. But in 2022, Mr. Adrian Radcliffe pleads that the owner of the land died in 2012. So Mr. Adrian Radcliffe lied to the Court that the owner of the land was dead knowing he was alive to grab his property even after he let him stay on it for over a decade while defaulting in rent payments?

The upshot of the 28th February 2011 High Court Judgment dismissing Mr. Adrian Radcliffe adverse possession claim is that he cannot possibly claim to be owner of the land in 2022 (as 12 years have not lapsed since 2011 when the land was found to belong to the original owner). At the same time, he cannot insist on continuing to stay in the land without paying rent against the wishes of the owners of the land.

Mr. Radcliffe admits that he did not appeal the 2011 High Court decision meaning it is still the law that he is not the owner of the land. In fact, on Thursday 3rd March 2011, Mr. Radcliffe instructed a Senior Lawyer in a Leading Nairobi Law Firm to engage the lawyers of the owner of the land who had already sued him to recover the unpaid rent from 1989 to 2011 and the cost of the adverse possession suit.

The claims of Mr. Adrian Radcliffe on Citizen TV that the property was handed to him by a friend who died and they had engaged the Senior Lawyer to assist in property transfer are blatant lies judging from the information gleaned from his court pleadings . It will be very hard for Mr. Adrian Radcliffe to sustain his case especially when the Court finds the extent of his material non-disclosure and falsehoods.

After the High Court decision, on 24th March 2011, the Advocates of the Owner of the land demanded that Mr. Adrian Radcliffe unequivocally accepts the ownership of the land by their client and lift the caveat over the land to be entitled to right of first refusal to purchase the property. On 31st March 2011, Mr. Adrian Radcliffe instructed the Senior Lawyer to write to them agreeing to their terms.

On the same day, Mr. Adrian Radcliffe also signed the withdrawal of his Caveat on the land and left it with the Senior Lawyer to forward to the Land Owner’s Law Firm. Afterwards, the Advocates of the Owner forwarded Valuation of the property as the basis for discussions regarding the sale of the property to Mr. Radcliffe. On 27th April 2011, the Senior Lawyer wrote to Mr. Radcliffe asking for his instructions.

On 28th April 2011, Mr. Radcliffe responded vide a letter dated same day expressly stating that he was unable to take up the offer of first refusal to purchase within the time frame stipulated by the original owner’s advocates for lack of means to purchase the land. The Senior Lawyer promptly communicated this position to the Advocates of the Original Land Owner vide a letter dated 29th April 2011.

Further, Mr. Adrian Radcliffe instructed the Senior Lawyer to inform the Lawyers of the owner that he wished to resolve all matters between himself and the original owner amicably and was ready to move out of the property to give vacant possession as he was aware that a potential purchaser would require possession. The Senior Lawyer conveyed that position to Owner’s Lawyers by letter dated 5th May 2011.

On 13th May 2011, the Advocates of the Land Owner wrote to the Senior Lawyer on behalf of Mr. Adrian Radcliffe stating that a Notice of Termination of his month to month tenancy had been served on him and had expired at the end of May 2010 and that they now required him to vacate the property without further delay. The land owner’s agents were already arranging for potential buyers to view the property.

It was clear that once a buyer was found, one of the terms of sale would be that the property should be transferred with vacant possession. Mr. Adrian Radcliffe and his wife visited the Senior Lawyer’s office several times to discuss the options available to them and disclosed to him that they had nowhere else to go and they were in a dilemma about what they would do if they were evicted from the property.

This back and forth went on for a year until the Senior Lawyer approached his spouse to assist Mr. & Mrs Radcliffe (who were also their family friends) to spare them and their young family the agony of eviction. No question if the Senior Lawyer and his wife had not assisted Mr. Adrian Radcliffe, he would have been evicted 10 years ago and the lives and schooling of their then young children interrupted and frustrated.

At that time, Kena Properties Ltd, which is owned by the spouse of the Senior Lawyer and her relatives, was looking for a property in the neighborhood for accommodation of staff of their International School. Kena Properties Ltd made a proposal to buy the land in October 2012 on condition that they will not take vacant possession of the land but will keep Mr. Adrian Radcliffe as tenant if he signs tenancy agreement.

Eventually, the Owner accepted the Proposal of Kena Properties  to buy the property for Ksh. 135 Million. On 7th June 2013, the Senior Lawyer informed Mr. Adrian Radcliffe that he had identified a party who was prepared to purchase the property and to allow him and his family to continue in possession of the property at a reasonable rent until they had arranged alternative accommodation.

Mr. Adrian Radcliffe not only agreed that the Senior Lawyer could represent the purchaser but on 12th August 2013 he emailed the Senior Lawyer thanking him “…for agreeing to negotiate a caretaker rental arrangement…” and asked that he keep them informed of developments. It is clear that Mr. Radcliffe is withholding material facts in an attempt to lie about and demonize the gracious Senior Lawyer.

In truth, the Senior Lawyer also secured settlement of the case that had been brought against Mr. Adrian Radcliffe in the Magistrate’s Court with no orders as to costs for helping introduce a purchaser for the property. This was after Mr. Radcliffe confided in the Senior Lawyer that he did not have the means to pay rent despite having lied that he had been depositing these monies into an account at Barclays Bank.

On 30th September 2013, the Senior Lawyer asked the Land Owner’s Lawyers to confirm their proposed arrangement regarding settlement of the suit. The Advocates of the Owner replied vide a letter dated 8th October 2013 confirming that once the transaction for the sale of the property to Kena Properties was completed, the suit in the Magistrates’ Court would be marked as settled with no order as to costs.

A copy of the consent letter dated 5th December 2013 was filed in court on 17th December 2013. The Senior Lawyer duly informed Mr. Adrian Radcliffe of this development by a letter dated 13th January 2014. He also sought his confirmation if he could forward a draft of the proposed tenancy agreement for Mr. Radcliffe’s consideration. But suddenly, Mr. Adrian Radcliffe became evasive as he was off the hook.

In brief, Kena Properties Ltd not only bought this property for Ksh. 135 Million from the original owner, they took a loan of Ksh. 40 Million from Prime Bank Limited to top up the purchase price. Mr. Adrian Radcliffe had opportunity to take up the offer of first refusal to purchase the land but turned it down for lack of means. This begs the question: why should he punish an innocent purchaser of the land for value?

All the facts point that Mr. Adrian Radcliffe has himself to blame for his eviction from the land. Kena Properties Ltd bought the property ready to accommodate him as a tenant. He acknowledges receiving their draft tenancy agreement and not acting on it. If Mr. Adrian Radcliffe is not the owner and refused to enter a tenancy agreement, why is he complaining about being evicted from the land as a trespasser?

Mr. Adrian Radcliffe had indicated that he will be ready to move out in 2014 after his daughter finished preparatory school. But it seems he changed his mind and decided to adversely possess the land to the detriment of the Innocent Purchaser for Value (Kena Properties Ltd) who was trying to assist him. He is complaining because the lawful eviction interrupted him before trespassing on the land for 12 years.

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News & Analysis

Review: Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 9, No. 1




The Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development, Volume 9, Issue No. 1, which is edited by and published by Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD is out and stays true to the reputation of the journal in providing a platform for scholarly debate on thematic areas in the fields of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development. The current issue published in September 2022 covers diverse topics including Resolving Oil and Gas Disputes in Africa; National Environment Tribunal, Sustainable Development and Access to Justice in Kenya; Protection of Cultural Heritage During War; The Role of Water in the attainment of Sustainable Development in Kenya; Property Rights in Human Biological Materials in Kenya; Nurturing our Wetlands for Biodiversity Conservation; Investor-State Dispute Resolution in a Fast-Paced World; Status of Participation of Women in Mediation; Business of Climate Change and Critical Analysis of World Trade Organization’s Most-Favored Nation (MFN) Treatment.

Dr. Wilfred A. Mutubwa and Eunice Njeri Ng’ang’a in “Resolving Oil and Gas Disputes in an Integrating Africa: An Appraisal of the Role of Regional Arbitration Centres” explore the nature of disputes in the realm of oil and gas in Africa taking a look into the recent continental and sub-regional developments in a bid to establish regional integration. Additionally, it tests the limits of intra-African trade and dispute resolution and the imperatives for the African regional courts and arbitration centres. In “National Environment Tribunal, Sustainable Development and Access to Justice in Kenya,” Dr. Kariuki Muigua discusses the role played by the National Environment Tribunal (NET) in promoting access to justice and enhancing the principles of sustainable development in Kenya. The paper also highlights challenges facing the tribunal and proposes recommendations towards enhancing the effectiveness of the tribunal.

Dr. Kenneth Wyne Mutuma in “Protecting Cultural Heritage in Times of War: A Case for History,” argues that cultural heritage is at the heart of human existence and its preservation even in times of war is sacrosanct. It concludes that it is thus critical for states to take positive and tangible steps to ensure environmental conservation and protection during war within the ambit of the existing international legal framework. In “The Role of Water in the attainment of Sustainable Development in Kenya,” Jack Shivugu critically evaluates the role of water in the attainment of sustainable development in Kenya and argues water plays a critical role in the attainment of the sustainable development goals both in Kenya and at the global stage. The paper interrogates some of the water and Sustainable Development concerns in Kenya including water pollution, water scarcity and climate change and suggests practical ways to enhance the role of water in the Sustainable Development agenda.

Dr. Paul Ogendi in “Collective Property Rights in Human Biological Materials in Kenya,” reflects on property rights in relation to human biological materials obtained from research participants participating in genomic research. He argues that property rights are crucial in genomic research because they can help avoid exploitation or abuse of such precious material by researchers. In “Nurturing our Wetlands for Biodiversity Conservation,” Dr. Kariuki Muigua notes that Wetlands have a vital role in not just delivering ecological services to meet human needs, but also in biodiversity conservation. Wetlands are vital habitat sites for many species and a source of water, both of which contribute to biodiversity protection. The paper examines the role of wetlands in biodiversity conservation and how these wetland resources might be managed to improve biodiversity conservation.

Oseko Louis D. Obure in “Investor-State Dispute Resolution in a Fast-Paced World,” preponderance of disputes between States or States and Investors created need for a robust, effective, and efficient mechanisms not only for the resolution of these disputes but also their prevention. He notes that developing states lead in being parties to Investor-State Disputes (ISD) particularly as respondents. He proceeds to conceptualize and problematize investor-state disputes resolution in a fast-paced world. Lilian N.S. Kong’ani and Dr. Kariuki Muigua in “Status of Participation of Women in Mediation: A case Study of Development Project Conflict in Olkaria IV, Kenya” review the status of participation of women in mediation to resolve conflicts between KenGen and the community. The paper demonstrates a need for further democratization of the mediation processes to cater for more participation of women to enhance the mediation results and offer more sustainable resolutions.

Felix Otieno Odhiambo and Melinda Lorenda Mueni in “The Business of Climate Change: An Analysis of Carbon Trading in Kenya analyses the business of carbon trading in the context of Kenya’s legal framework. The article examines the legal framework that underpins climate change into the Kenyan legal system and provides an exposition of the concept of carbon trading and its various forms. Michael Okello, in “Critical Analysis of World Trade Organisation’s Most-Favored Nation (MFN) Treatment: Prospects, Challenges and Emerging Trends in the 21st Century,” highlights the rationale behind MFN treatment and also restates the vision of multilateral trade to achieve equitable and special interventions with respect to trade in goods, services and trade related intellectual property rights in the affected states.

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Dr. Kariuki Muigua: The Making of Top Arbitrator in Africa




African Arbitrator of the Year 2022 Dr. Kariuki Muigua's Journey to the Top of ADR in Africa is a Case Study of Excellence

The journey of Dr. Kariuki Muigua to becoming the African Arbitrator of the Year 2022 has seen him painstakingly and consistently research, teach, write, edit, publish, train, mentor and practice arbitration, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), conflict management and dispute resolution for the last 30 years with excellence as a leading lawyer, authoritative scholar and ADR expert. Today, Dr. Kariuki Muigua, Phd, C.Arb is a Chartered Arbitrator and the African Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the African Arbitrator of the Year 2022. He is an advocate of 33 years standing and the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates. He is also the author of the Leading Textbooks on ADR, Mediation and Arbitration including the seminal Settling Disputes Through Arbitration in Kenya, now in 4th Edition. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is ranked at Band 1 by Chambers & Partners among the leading Arbitrators in Kenya noting that “He has been involved in several ground-breaking arbitrations,” “has an astute understanding of arbitration” and “is respected for litigation.”

Dr. Kariuki Muigua is also both the founder, publisher and editor of Africa’s leading Conflict Management Journal as well as one of the PhD Academics who majored in resolution of Natural Resources and Environmental Conflicts using mediation. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is also a leading author in the area of conflict management and has published several books on the topic including Resolving Conflicts through Mediation and Natural Resources and Environmental Justice in Kenya. It is these exploits that have left many of his admirers convinced that his next stop would be Professorship and admission to the Rank of Senior Counsel.

As an ADR Practitioner, Dr. Muigua was declared the first ever winner of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya Branch) ADR Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honour given by the Institute to one member every year for his immense contribution to the growth of practice, research and scholarship of ADR in Kenya and across Africa. The award came barely a week after Dr. Muigua had won the coveted Law Society of Kenya ADR Practitioner of the Year Award at the 4th Edition of the Nairobi Legal Awards. LSK recognized Dr. Muigua for his outstanding practice in ADR and especially arbitration and his role as mentor to many lawyers venturing into the area. Dr. Kariuki Muigua was also awarded the ADR Publisher of the Year for his scholarship, authorship and editorship of leading research and publications on ADR in Africa including the Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development and Alternative Dispute Resolution, the Official Journal of the CIArb (Kenya).

The tripartite awards have been hailed by many of Dr. Kariuki Muigua’s peers in the ADR and Arbitration fraternity as a fitting tributes to his made immense contribution to mainstreaming of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and especially arbitration as way of resolving disputes in Kenya, East Africa and across Africa in the last two (2) decades. Indeed, starting in 2002 when Dr. Muigua took the Special Member Course leading to membership to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb), Dr. Muigua one of the staunchest advocates of ADR in Africa in addition to becoming the foremost intellectual voice shaping ADR practitioners and scholars of the future. The contribution of Dr. Kariuki Muigua to the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) sector has taken many shapes and forms including as a practitioner, leader, policy maker, scholar, author, trainer, mentor and trailblazer among others.

Dr. Muigua is a leading Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioner in Kenya, Africa and the world at large who has been recognized nationally and globally by peers. The world leading peer-reviewed lawyers’ directory, Chambers and Partners, rates Dr. Kariuki Muigua as one of the best alternative dispute resolution experts in the country. It describes as ‘a highly respected arbitrator and mediator with a sterling background in commercial and constitutional cases, as well as matters relating to the environment and natural resources.’ The most recent ranking adds: “Kariuki Muigua of Kariuki Muigua & Co is held in high regard by market commentators for his role in the Kenyan arbitration sphere. He possesses stellar experience in commercial and constitutional disputes, as well as environmental matters and those relating to the extractive industries. In addition to being “a big noise in the arbitration association,” he is widely recognized for his academic work.”

Dr. Muigua has served in many panels as an arbitrator appointed by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)-Kenya, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA), the London Court Of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the International Court of Arbitration under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on several occasions as a sole arbitrator and a member of arbitral tribunals in arbitrations involving commercial disputes. He has vast experience and expertise in adjudication and has sat as both as a panel member and a chairperson in various adjudication Boards both locally and internationally. He is also an accomplished mediator and has successfully presided over numerous matters both as a private mediator and a court appointed mediator under the Court-Annexed Mediation program in Kenya.

Dr Muigua was elected (unopposed) to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Board of Trustees as the Regional Trustee for Africa, for the term beginning 1 January 2019. Previously, he served as the Branch Chairman of CIArb-Kenya from 2012 to 2015. He also served CIArb as Member and past Chairperson of the Sub-committee on Information Technology (IT), CIArb and as Member of the Legal Committee Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) – Kenya chapter. He is a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)-Kenya chapter. He is also a member of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and Kenya Branch. He is also a Member of Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC) and Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA). For his contributions, he was awarded Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Chairman’s Medal with a citation for exemplary service in December, 2015.

In policy-making, Dr. Kariuki Muigua is currently a member of the National Steering Committee for Formulation of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy representing the Academia since 2020. The team is providing guidance and overseeing the process for formulation of a national policy and institutional framework on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Kenya. He has also served as Member of the Meditation Accreditation Committee Panel of Mediators Accredited for Commercial Mediation under the Judiciary of Kenya. Recently, he led negotiations that achieved partnership with Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK on GPR 625 (International Commercial Arbitration) for University of Nairobi LLM students to achieve membership status without further tests, 2020 to 2023.

On ADR Scholarship, Dr. Muigua is the author of the leading textbook on Arbitration in Kenya, namely, Settling Disputes through Arbitration in Kenya, now in its 4th Edition (2022) and available for free download, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Access to Justice in Kenya (2015) and Resolving Conflicts through Mediation in Kenya (2013). He has been cited hundreds of times as an ADR Scholar, contributed at least 3 chapters of published books, authored dozens of peer-reviewed articles in the areas of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution and presented over two dozen papers on ADR in diverse fora. Dr. Muigua has also facilitated numerous trainings, workshops and conferences on ADR. He has supervised and supervised at least two (2) completed PhD thesis on ADR, Dozens of Masters Thesis and is supervising three (3) PhDs in the area as a lecturer and mentor in ADR practice and scholarship. Dr. Muigua is a lecturer in International Commercial Arbitration at the University of Nairobi and tutor, trainer and assessor at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya Branch).

Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a Chartered Arbitrator (since January 2015) and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (since October 2010) and Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (since 2002). He holds a Diploma in Arbitration (2012) and became Accredited as a Mediator by the Mediation Training Institute in 2015. He is also a renowned consultant on ADR Law and Practice and has authored reports whose recommendations had far reaching impact on the sector. As a professional who strives to attain excellence in the legal and ADR arenas, Dr. Muigua has gone out of his way to put ADR in the frontline as one of the leading modes of dispute resolution in Kenya, Africa and at global stage. Dr. Muigua is a holder of a Ph. D in law from the University of Nairobi and has widespread training and experience in both international and national commercial arbitration and mediation. Previously, he served as the chairperson, Department of Private Law of the University of Nairobi School of Law 2020-2021.

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News & Analysis

Overcoming Hindrances to International Commercial Arbitration in Kenya




By Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD (Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Sustainable Development Policy Advisor, Natural Resources Lawyer and Dispute Resolution Expert from Kenya), The African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021, CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 and ADR Publisher of the Year 2021*

In the face of globalisation, it is important that international trade and investment take place with minimal interference by territorial barriers such as unnecessary domestic courts’ intervention. It has been asserted that the settlement of disputes between parties to an international transaction, arbitration has clear advantages over litigation in national courts. The foreign court can be an alien environment for a businessman because of his unfamiliarity with the procedure which may be followed, the laws to be applied, and even the mentality of the foreign judges.

In contrast, with international commercial arbitration parties coming from different legal systems can provide for a procedure which is mutually acceptable. They can anticipate which law shall be applied: a particular law or even a lex mercatoria of a trade. They can also appoint a person of their choice having expert knowledge in the field. Thus, it is argued that these and other advantages are only potential until the necessary legal framework can be internationally secured, at least providing that the commitment to arbitrate is enforceable and that the arbitral decision can be executed in many countries, precluding the possibility that a national court review the merits of the decision.

There is a need to employ mechanisms that will help nurture and demonstrate Kenya to the outside world as a place with international commercial arbitrators with sufficient knowledge and expertise to be appointed to arbitrate international arbitrators. There is also the need to put in place adequate legal regimes and infrastructure for the efficient and effective organization and conduct of international commercial arbitration in Africa. This ranges from legislating comprehensive law on international commercial arbitration as well as setting up world class arbitration centres in Kenya to complement the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA).

There is also the Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADR) which is an initiative by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Kenya and was incorporated in May, 2013. Its objective is to establish and maintain a regional Dispute Resolution Centre in the country. The CADR is a positive step towards nurturing international commercial arbitration in Kenya. This will afford the local international commercial arbitrators the fora to showcase their skills and expertise in international commercial arbitration and will also attract international clients from outside Africa. It has been noted that there should be basic minimum standards for international commercial arbitration centres or institutions. These include: modern arbitration rules; modern and efficient administrative and technological facilities; Security and safety of documents; Expertise within its staff; and some serious degree of permanence. There is a need to set up more regional centres for training of international commercial arbitrators in Africa and Kenya.

The Kenyan Chapter of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators trains arbitrators across Africa and has trained arbitrators in countries like Nigeria, Zambia, Uganda and even Malawi. Kenya can indeed play a pivotal role in nurturing international commercial arbitration, not only in Kenya but also across the African continent. There is also need for the existing institutions to seek collaboration with more international commercial arbitration institutions since this will work as an effective marketing tool for the exiting institutions. For instance, the Kenyan Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Branch maintains a close relationship with the International Law Institute (ILI) Kampala and the Centre for Africa Peace and Conflict Resolution (CAPCR) of California State University to conduct Courses in Mediation and other forms of ADR both locally and internationally.

There is need for all African centres and institutions to do the same to promote international commercial arbitration in Africa. The Kenyan law on arbitration appreciates the need to limit court intervention in arbitration to a basic minimum. It has been argued that the relationship between the courts and the arbitral process can be made much closer, both practically and psychologically. The psychological link can be strengthened by encouraging all or at least a good number of the commercial judges and advocates to take up training in arbitration and consequently ensuring that they benefit from having prior experience of arbitration either as representative advocates or actual arbitrators. This will subsequently boost the confidence of foreigners in the African Arbitration institutions as well as the role of courts. Effective and reliable application of international commercial arbitration in Kenya has the capacity to encourage investors to carry on business with confidence knowing their disputes will be settled expeditiously.

In essence, there is need to develop a clear framework in Kenya within which international commercial arbitration can be further nurtured. There are arbitral institutions already in place in Kenya as highlighted in this paper. The presence of such institutions in the country points to an acceptance of alternative dispute resolution modes as well as the need to nurture the practice of international commercial arbitration other than exporting commercial disputes to foreign countries for settlement. With the right frameworks in place, Kenya indeed has the capacity to conduct successful international commercial arbitration. Nurturing international commercial arbitration in Kenya is a necessity whose time has come.

*This article is an extract from published article Nurturing International Commercial Arbitration in Kenya,” by Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD, the African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 (Nairobi Legal Awards), CIArb (Kenya) ADR Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 and ADR Publisher of the Year 2021. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a Foremost Dispute Resolution Expert in Africa ranked among Top 6 Arbitrators in Kenya by Chambers and Partners, Leading Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a Senior Lecturer of Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law and The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP). He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Dr. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Africa Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates. Dr. Muigua is recognized as one of the leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts by the Chambers Global Guide 2022 and is ranked among the Top 5 Arbitrators in Kenya in 2022 by The Lawyer Africa. 


Muigua, K., “Nurturing International Commercial Arbitration in Kenya,” Available at: (accessed 15 July 2022).

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