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What are the Achievements of Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD in ADR Practice?

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Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD accepting the ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 Award at the Nairobi Legal Awards

Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD has been nominated for the African Arbitrator of the Year 2022 Award. He is one of the most qualified and decorated Arbitrators in Africa being a Chartered Arbitrator (2015), Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb), Accredited/Certified Mediator and Advocate of the High Court of Kenya of 32 Years. He has been shortlisted for African Arbitrator of the Year Award at the 3rd African Arbitration Awards and voting is open until the Monday 13th June, 2022 Midnight Deadline. Please follow this link to vote for Dr. Kariuki Muigua for the award of African Arbitrator of the Year 2022: https://preview.mailerlite.com/m3m6o7l6c8/1968314795065083207/z0p1/

In 2021, Dr. Kariuki Muigua was awarded the Inaugural CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 for his immense contribution to arbitration and ADR practice in Kenya and East Africa region.  Dr. Muigua is a foremost ADR Scholar and Academic having written his PhD Thesis on Mediation. Dr. Kariuki Muigua served as the Chairperson of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya Branch) from 2012 to 2015 and is the Africa Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators from 2019. He was also awarded the coveted ADR Practitioner of the Year Award 2021 by the Nairobi Law Society at the Nairobi  Legal Awards and ADR Publisher of the Year 2021 by the CIArb (Kenya).

Dr. Muigua is a Member of the Nairobi Centre of International Arbitration Faculty, is an Accredited Tutor of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya Branch) and also teaches International Commercial Arbitration at the University of Nairobi both at undergraduate and postgraduate level and is the author of leading ADR Text Books including “Settling Disputes Through Arbitration in Kenya”, “Resolving Conflicts through Mediation in Kenya” and “Alternative Dispute Resolution and Access to Justice in Kenya. Dr Muigua is also the Editor in Chief of the Leading ADR Peer-Reviewed Journals in East Africa, namely, Alternative Dispute Resolution Journal (Official Journal of the CIArb Kenya) and the Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development (JCMSD). He is also the winner of the ADR Publication of the Year Award 2021.

Relevant Education and Qualifications on Arbitration

  • Chartered Arbitrator 2015.
  • Accredited/Certified Professional Mediator (MTI) 2015.
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb), 2012.
  • University of Nairobi, Ph.D., 2011. Thesis titled “Resolving Environmental Conflicts in Kenya through Mediation”
  • Module 4 Arbitration – October 2010.
  • M., 2005 specializing in Environmental Law and Natural Resource Conflicts/Dispute Resolution and studied advanced course on International Commercial Arbitration
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb), 2002.
  • Advocate of High Court of Kenya, 1989.

Work Highlights, Recognitions and Memberships on Arbitration

  • ADR Practitioner of the Year in Kenya 2021.
  • ADR Publication of the Year 2021
  • CIArb (Kenya) Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award 2021
  • Regional Trustee for Africa, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Board of Trustees.
  • Member National Steering Committee for Formulation of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy (Government of Kenya), 2020
  • Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Nairobi, International Commercial Arbitration;
  • Senior Partner, Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates specializing in, among others, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration and Mediation.
  • Tutor, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators-Kenya Teaching and researching Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods at all levels, namely: entry level, Associate level, Member level and fast-track to fellow level.
  • Awardee, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Chairman’s medal, with citation for exemplary service, December, 2015.
  • Chartered Arbitrator of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)
  • Branch Chairman of CIArb-Kenya from 2012 to 2015
  • Council of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) – Kenya chapter.
  • Member and past chairperson of the sub-committee on Information Technology (IT), CIArb
  • Member of the Legal Committee Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) – Kenya chapter
  • Member, Meditation Accreditation Committee Panel of Mediators Accredited for Commercial Mediation (The Judiciary, Republic of Kenya).
  • Member of London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) (2002)
  • Member, Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC) International Panel of arbitrators.
  • Member, Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA) Panel of International Arbitrators.
  • Member, Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA) Panel of Domestic Arbitrators.
  • Member, Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA) Panel of Domestic Mediators.
  • Member (Former) of the National Environment Tribunal (Nominee of the Law Society of Kenya).
  • Member of the Law Society of Kenya.

 Key Consultancies and Collaborations in Arbitration and ADR

  • Negotiated the 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.
  • Consultant for IDLO, Kenya Judiciary & NCIA, Development and Alignment of Legal & Policy Framework with Aim to Deepen ADR for Access to Justice and Commercial Disputes”- January 2018.
  • Consultant for the Court of Justice of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA Court of Justice) to Review and Revise COMESA Court of Justice Arbitration Rules (2003) – January 2018.
  • Consultant for the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC), IDLO and the UNDP in preparing a “Report for Review of Policy, Legislation and Administrative Structures on Access to Justice: Existing Gaps and Proposed Reforms to Align with the Constitution”- 2015.
  • Consultant by the KENYA LAND ALLIANCE in preparing a “Review and Analysis of its draft ADR guide and Training Manual to offer guidance in resolution of land disputes”- August, 2013.

 Books and Book Chapters Published on Arbitration and ADR

  • Muigua, K., Settling Disputes through Arbitration in Kenya, 3rd, Glenwood Publishers, Nairobi – 2017.
  • Muigua, K., Alternative Dispute Resolution and Access to Justice in Kenya, Glenwood Publishers, Nairobi – 2015.
  • Muigua, K., Resolving Conflicts through Mediation in Kenya, Glenwood Publishers, Nairobi – 2013.
  • Muigua, K., Settling Disputes through Arbitration in Kenya, Glenwood Publishers, Nairobi – 2012.
  • Muigua, K., Book Chapter: ‘Effectiveness of Arbitration Institutions in East Africa,’ in Onyema, E. (ed), The Transformation of Arbitration in Africa: The Role of Arbitral Institutions, (Kluwer Law International, The Netherlands, 2016).
  • Muigua, K., Book Chapter: Chapter 24: ‘Dispute Resolution Mechanisms for Environmental Governance,’ in Prof. Patricia Kameri-Mbote and Dr. Robert Kibugi (eds), Environmental Governance in Kenya: Implementing the Constitutional Framework, – 2020).

 Journal Articles Published in Arbitration and ADR

  • Abwunza, Allan A., Titus K. Peter, and Kariuki Muigua, “Explaining the Efffectiveness of Construction Arbitration: An Organizational Justice Perspective,” Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction, Volume 13, Issue 3 (2021)
  • Muigua, K., Managing Governance Conflicts Through Alternative Dispute Resolution in Kenya, Governance Journal, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2020, pp 91-106.
  • Muigua, K., Arbitration Law and the Right of Appeal in Kenya, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Volume 9, No 2, (2021), pp. 21-43.
  • Muigua, K., Looking Into the Future: Making Kenya a Preferred Seat for International Arbitration, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Volume 9, No 1, (2021), pp. 1-51.
  • Muigua, K., Africa’s Role in the Reform of International Investment Law and the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) System, Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development, Volume 5, No 1, (September, 2020).
  • Muigua, K., ‘Promoting Sports Arbitration in Kenya,’ Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya), Alternative Dispute Resolution, Volume 8, No 1, (2020), pp. 1-30.
  • Muigua, K., ‘Enhancing the Court Annexed Mediation Environment in Kanya,’ Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya), Alternative Dispute Resolution, Volume 8, No 2, (2020), pp. 20-40.
  • Abwunza, Allan A., Titus K. Peter, and Kariuki Muigua, “Explaining Delays in Construction Arbitration: A Process-Control Model Approach,” Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction, Volume 12, Issue 2 (May 2020).
  • Muigua, K., Enhancing the Court Annexed Mediation Environment in Kenya, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya), Alternative Dispute Resolution, 9 (1) (July, 2020).
  • Muigua, K., The Singapore Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation: Challenges and Prospects for African States, Volume 4, No 3, (May, 2020).
  • Abwunza, Allan A., Titus K. Peter, and Kariuki Muigua, “Effectiveness of Arbitration in Contractual Disputes: Tension between Procedural Efficiency and Award Quality,” Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction 11, No. 2 (2019): 04519003.
  • Muigua, K. & Ombati, J., ‘Achieving expeditious Justice: Harnessing Technology for Cost Effective International Commercial Arbitral Proceedings,’ Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya), Alternative Dispute Resolution, 7(1):1-32, (April, 2019).
  • Muigua, K., ‘Making Mediation Work for all: Understanding the Mediation Process,’ Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya), Alternative Dispute Resolution, 7(1):120-141, (April, 2019).
  • Muigua, K., ‘Promoting International Commercial Arbitration in Africa,’ Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya), Alternative Dispute Resolution, Volume 5, No 2, (2017), pp. 1-27.
  • Muigua, K., ‘Legitimising Alternative Dispute Resolution in Kenya: Towards a Policy and Legal Framework,’ Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya), Alternative Dispute Resolution, Volume 5, No 1, (2017), pp. 74-104.
  • Muigua K., “The Lawyer as a Negotiator, Mediator and Peacemaker in Kenya,” Law Society of Kenya Journal, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2016, pp. 39-66.
  • Muigua, K., ‘Constitutional Supremacy over Arbitration in Kenya,’ Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya), Alternative Dispute Resolution, Volume 4, No 1, (2016), pp. 100-131.
  • Muigua, K., ‘Effective Management of Commercial Disputes: Opportunities for the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration,’ Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya), Alternative Dispute Resolution, Vol. 4, No 1, (2016), pp. 155-180.
  • Muigua, K., ‘Building Legal Bridges: Fostering Eastern Africa Integration through Commercial Arbitration,’ Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya), Alternative Dispute Resolution, Vol. 3, No 1, (2015), pp.45-87.
  • Muigua, K., ‘Effective Justice for Kenyans: is ADR Really Alternative?’ The Law Society of Kenya Journal, Vol. II, 2015, No. 1, pp. 49-62.
  • Muigua, K., ‘Role of the Court Under Arbitration Act 1995: Court intervention before, pending and after Arbitration in Kenya,’ Kenya Law Review Journal, 2008-2010.

 Presentation, Papers and Seminars Made on Arbitration

  • Muigua, K., Arbitration Law and the Right of Appeal in Kenya, A Paper presented at the Law Society of Kenya Continuing Professional Development Webinar on Arbitration held on 13th November 2020.
  • Muigua, K., Adopting the Singapore Convention in Kenya: Insight and Analysis, Working Paper for the Singapore Convention Webinar Held on 19th August 2020.
  • Muigua, K., Virtual Arbitration Amidst COVID-19: Efficacy and Checklist for Best Practices, A Discussion Paper for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Kenya Branch (CIArb-K) Webinar ADR Talk Series 8 held on 28thMay 2020.
  • Muigua, K., Promoting Sports Arbitration in Africa, a discussion Paper for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya Branch) 2nd annual lecture on the theme ‘Promoting Sports Arbitration in Africa’ held on Thursday 28th November, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Muigua, K., Negotiating Dispute Settlement terms in Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITS) and Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), Paper Presented at the Nairobi International Arbitration Conference, held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi-Kenya, on 4th – 6th December, 2016.
  • Muigua, K., Reawakening Arbitral Institutions for Development of Arbitration; Arbitration Institutions in Africa Conference, 2015, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Theme: The Role of Arbitration Institutions in the Development of Arbitration in Africa.
  • Muigua, K., Building Legal Bridges: Fostering Eastern Africa Integration through Commercial Arbitration, Paper presented, at the 3rd Annual East Africa International Arbitration Conference 2015 held on 9th and 10th April, 2015 at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Dar Es Salaam-Tanzania.
  • Muigua, K., ADR: The Road to Justice in Kenya, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators-Kenya Branch International Arbitration Conference, Conference held on 7th & 8th August, 2014 at Sarova Whitesands Hotel, Mombasa, Kenya.
  • East Africa International Arbitration Conference Muigua, K., Promoting International Commercial Arbitration in Africa, the East Africa International Arbitration Conference, held on 28-29 July 2014, at Fairmont the Norfolk, Nairobi.
  • Muigua, K., Making East Africa a Hub for International Commercial Arbitration: A Critical Examination of the State of the Legal and Institutional Framework Governing Arbitration in Kenya, Kigali Arbitration Centre (KIAC), Arbitration workshop for EAC region 24th -25th May 2013.
  • Muigua, K., Overview of Arbitration and Mediation in Kenya, Stakeholder’s Forum on Establishment of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanisms for Labour Relations in Kenya, held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, on 4th – 6 th May, 2011.

Research and Scholarship Supervised on Arbitration

  • Allan A. Abwunza, Developing A Framework For Effective Arbitration Of Contractual Disputes In The Construction Industry of Kenya,’ Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology. (Completed PhD Thesis)
  • Sikuta Moses, The Implications of Public Policy Considerations in the Enforcement of International Arbitral Awards in Kenya (Ongoing PhD Thesis)
  • Jimmy Winny Mwende, A Critique of Section 6 of the Arbitration Act’, University of Nairobi. 2014 (Completed LLM Thesis).
  • Ajima Daisy Owuor, Making Kenya a Hub for Arbitration of International Financial Services Disputes’, University of Nairobi. 2014 (Completed LLM Thesis).
  • Gad Gathu, A Critique of Kenyan Judiciary’s Capacity for Enforcement of International Commercial Arbitration Awards, University of Nairobi. 2015 (Completed LLM Thesis).
  • Edel Njoki Michuki, Arbitration Practice and Access to Justice in Kenya, University of Nairobi, 2015 (Completed LLM Thesis).
  • Kilonzo Kituku, Facilitating International Arbitration in Kenya’, University of Nairobi (Completed LLM Thesis).
  • Anne Wanjiru Mwangi, A Critique of the Contribution of International Commercial Arbitration Toward the Realisation of the Right of Access to Justice in Kenya (Completed LLM Thesis).
  • George Gilbert Otieno, A Critique of Arbitration Clauses/Agreement in Employment Contracts. (Completed LLM Thesis).
  • James Ndungu Njuguna, Arbitration as a Tool for Management of Natural Resource and Community Land Conflicts in Kenya. (Completed LLM Thesis).
  • Peter Mwangi Muriithi, The Place of International Arbitration in East Africa: A Case Study of the Effectiveness of the East African Court of Justice as an International Arbitral Tribunal (Completed LLM Thesis).

Conclusion

Dr. Kariuki Muigui, PhD is one of Africa’s foremost Arbitrators and ADR experts and has handled dozens of arbitration matters and disputes as a member of tribunals and panels and as counsel for parties. He is a leader in arbitration scholarship and edits several journals and periodicals in the area to promote research in dispute resolution and conflict management. As the African Regional Trustee of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, he is at the forefront in promoting adoption of arbitration as the preferred mode of dispute resolution especially by young professionals and businesses. Recently, he sponsored Dr. Kariuki Muigua Annual ADR Essay Award to encourage university students to research, study and write on ADR and Arbitration in Africa.

 

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

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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

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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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Overcoming Hindrances to International Commercial Arbitration in Kenya

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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. 

References

Muigua, K., “Nurturing International Commercial Arbitration in Kenya,” Available at: http://kmco.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Nurturing-International-Commercial-Arbitration-in-Kenya.pdf (accessed 15 July 2022).

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