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Applicability of ADR Mechanisms in Managing Governance Conflicts

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By Hon. Prof. Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, C.Arb, FCIArb is a Professor of Environmental Law and Dispute Resolution at the University of Nairobi, Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration, Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Respected Sustainable Development Policy Advisor, Top Natural Resources Lawyer, Highly-Regarded Dispute Resolution Expert and Awardee of the Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) of Kenya by H.E. the President of Republic of Kenya. He is the Academic Champion of ADR 2024, the African ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, the African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, ADR Practitioner of the Year in Kenya 2021, CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 and ADR Publisher of the Year 2021 and Author of the Kenya’s First ESG Book: Embracing Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) tenets for Sustainable Development” (Glenwood, Nairobi, July 2023) and Kenya’s First Two Climate Change Law Book: Combating Climate Change for Sustainability (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023), Achieving Climate Justice for Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023) and Promoting Rule of Law for Sustainable Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, January 2024)*

Well governed corporations are less likely to have conflicts. However, where conflicts arise, there is need to have in place a suitable process and venue to manage the conflict in a timely and cost-effective manner. A good corporate governance framework ensures availability of a reliable mechanism for managing emerging and existing disputes.

In managing governance disputes, there are several underlying issues that need to be addressed. It has been rightly pointed out that corporations hate to go public with their governance disputes. Such disputes if brought to limelight could affect public perception of an organization and ultimately its overall performance.

Further, if governance disputes are not managed expeditiously, much of the Board’s resources and time will be diverted at the expense of the success of the organization. Litigation therefore cannot effectively deal with the underlying issues in governance conflicts. It has been pointed out that the court’s role is dependent on the limitations of civil procedure, and on the litigious courses taken by the parties themselves.

Conflict management through litigation can take years before the parties can get justice in their matters due to the formality and resource limitations. Litigation is often slow and expensive and it may at times lose the commercial and practical credibility necessary in the corporate world. The shortcomings of litigation make it a less viable mechanism of managing governance conflicts due to the need for expeditious results and continued working relations.

These challenges can be effectively addresses through the suitable use of ADR solutions which can be tailored by the parties to deal with ongoing situations in a manner that allows the parties to continue working together. Indeed, most global and national corporate governance statutes, principles and codes advocate the use of ADR in managing governance conflicts.

The OECD Principles of Corporate Governance encourage equitable treatment of shareholders and the need to provide a framework through which shareholders can enforce their rights and initiate legal and administrative proceedings against management and board members. Towards this end, OECD notes that “a balance must be struck between allowing investors to seek remedies for infringement of ownership rights and avoiding excessive litigation. Many countries have found that alternative adjudication procedures, such as administrative hearings or arbitration procedures organized by the securities regulators or other regulatory bodies, are an efficient method for dispute settlement, at least at the first instance level.”

The King III Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa advocates the use of ADR as a tool of good corporate governance. It encourages directors to preserve business relationships. Consequently, when a dispute arises, in exercising their duty of care, directors should endeavour to resolve it expeditiously, efficiently and effectively. Further, in advocating the use of mediation, the Report notes that it enables novel solutions which may not be attained in litigation which is constrained to enforce legal rights and obligations. The Report correctly states that in mediation, the parties’ needs are considered, rather than their rights and obligations.

In Kenya, The Code of Corporate Governance Practices for Issuers of Securities to the Public while providing the guidelines for managing internal and external disputes involving companies states that “Disputes involving companies are an inevitable part of doing business. Companies shall establish mechanisms for resolving the disputes in a cost effective and timely manner. Mechanisms to avoid their recurrence shall also be established and implemented. It is incumbent upon directors and executives, in carrying out their duty of care to a company to ensure that disputes are resolved effectively, expeditiously and efficiently. Further, dispute resolution shall be cost effective and not a drain on the finances and resources of the company.”

Further, The Code of Governance for State Corporations in Kenya advises the Board to ensure that disputes with and among stakeholders are resolved effectively, efficiently and expeditiously. Under the Code, the Board is encouraged to take reasonable steps towards managing disputes involving stakeholders through the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms. Board members are expected to resolve issues in a fair and respectful manner which considers informal processes such as dialogue or mediation. ADR mechanisms especially mediation are viable in managing governance disputes.

The King Report in while advocating the use of mediation in managing governance conflicts notes that “mediation is often more appropriate where interests of the disputing parties need to be addressed and where commercial relationships need to be preserved and even enhanced.” It has been noted that governance conflicts have at least three dimensions; emotional, legal and commercial.

Mediation is able to effectively manage such disputes since it considers all the three dimensions unlike litigation which only considers the legal dimension of a case. In K.M. Patel and another v. United Assurance Company Ltd, mediation was successfully used in managing a governance conflict. In the case, two shareholders filed a petition against the Respondent company on allegations that their 40-percent shares in the company had been wrongfully and illegally diluted during the company’s restructuring and sale without prior notice.

With the consent of both parties, the Commercial Court offered to mediate the case. In encouraging the parties to engage in the mediation process, the mediator stated that “Both parties should sit down as business partners and come to an amicable understanding because at the end of the day, you may find that no one has benefited if the company has wound up.” Consequently, the mediation was successful and led to a consent judgement in which the company bought out the two shareholders and amicably resolved the dispute.

Arbitration is also a preferable mechanism of conflict management especially in conflicts between an organization and third parties. In Kenya, most organizations are using arbitration to manage conflicts with suppliers, dealers and other third parties. Most contracts governing business engagements usually contain arbitration clauses which provide for referral of any dispute arising under the contract to arbitration. Further, employment agreements between some corporations and senior executives call for the use of arbitration in case of any employment related dispute.

Even though closely related to litigation, there are certain salient features of arbitration which make it an important and attractive alternative to litigation in managing governance disputes. In arbitration the parties have autonomy over the choice of the arbitrator, place and time of hearing, and as far as they can agree, autonomy over the arbitration process which may be varied to suit the nature and complexity of the conflict.

Negotiation is also one of the most fundamental ADR mechanisms that can be effectively utilised in managing governance conflicts. It refers to the process where parties attempt to find mutually acceptable solutions to the issues at hand without the assistance of a third party. Negotiation focuses on the common interests of parties over their relative power and positions. This mechanism can be effectively applied in governance conflicts such as conflicts between board members or board members and shareholders. This is due to the underlying common interest at hand which is to promote success of the organization.

Parties will be more than willing to give up their individual positions and adopt a common position that is mutually acceptable and in the interest of the organization. Negotiation leads to mediation where parties have reached a deadlock. An organization should thus endeavour to use negotiation in managing governance conflicts before resorting to mediation or other ADR mechanisms such as arbitration where the negotiation fails.

This is an extract from Kenya’s First ESG Law Book: Embracing Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) tenets for Sustainable Development” (Glenwood, Nairobi, July 2023) by Hon. Prof.  Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, Professor of Environmental Law and Dispute Resolution, Senior Advocate of Kenya, Chartered Arbitrator, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 (Nairobi Legal Awards), ADR Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 (CIArb Kenya), African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, Africa ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, Member of National Environment Tribunal (NET) Emeritus (2017 to 2023) and Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration nominated by Republic of Kenya and Academic Champion of ADR 2024. Prof. Kariuki Muigua is a foremost Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert in Kenya. Prof. Kariuki Muigua teaches Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law, The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP) and Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies. He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Prof. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates and Africa Trustee Emeritus of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 2019-2022. Prof. Muigua is a 2023 recipient of President of the Republic of Kenya Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) Award for his service to the Nation as a Distinguished Expert, Academic and Scholar in Dispute Resolution and recognized among the top 5 leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts in Band 1 in Kenya by the Chambers Global Guide 2024 and was listed in the Inaugural THE LAWYER AFRICA Litigation Hall of Fame 2023 as one of the Top 50 Most Distinguished Litigation Lawyers in Kenya and the Top Arbitrator in Kenya in 2023.

References

Brock, W.A. and Taylor, M.S., “Economic growth and the environment: a review of theory and empirics.” Handbook of economic growth 1 (2005): 1749-1821.

Cameron, A., Metternicht, G. and Wiedmann, T., “Initial progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): a review of evidence from countries.” Sustainability Science 13, no. 5 (2018): 1453-1467, 1453.

Clune WH and Zehnder AJB, ‘The Three Pillars of Sustainability Framework: Approaches for Laws and Governance’ (2018) 9 Journal of Environmental Protection 211.

Clune WH and Zehnder AJB, ‘The Three Pillars of Sustainability Framework: Approaches for Laws and Governance’ (2018) 9 Journal of Environmental Protection 211.

Dernbach, J.C. and Mintz, J.A., “Environmental laws and sustainability: An introduction.” Sustainability 3, no. 3 (2011): 531-540, 531.

Dernbach, J.C. and Mintz, J.A., “Environmental laws and sustainability: An introduction.” Sustainability 3, no. 3 (2011): 531-540, 532.

Dernbach, J.C. and Mintz, J.A., “Environmental laws and sustainability: an introduction. Sustainability, 3 (3), 531-540.” (2011), 532.

Environment UN, ‘Promoting Environmental Rule of Law’ (UNEP – UN Environment Programme, 5 October 2017).

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Fallah Shayan, N., Mohabbati-Kalejahi, N., Alavi, S. and Zahed, M.A., ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a Framework for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)’ (2022) 14 Sustainability 1222, 8 accessed 13 July 2022.

Fallah Shayan, N., Mohabbati-Kalejahi, N., Alavi, S. and Zahed, M.A., ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a Framework for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)’ (2022) 14 Sustainability 1222, 14.

Hickel, J., “The contradiction of the sustainable development goals: Growth versus ecology on a finite planet.” Sustainable Development 27, no. 5 (2019): 873-884, at 874 & 875.

Higgs, Kerryn. “How sustainable are the SDGs?” (2020): 109-130, 109 < https://anzsee.org.au/wpcontent/uploads/2020/07/EESolutionsFutureRoyalDraftJuly2ndFIN ALEbook.pdf#page=109> accessed 13 July 2022.

Joachim H Spangenberg, ‘Economic Sustainability of the Economy: Concepts and Indicators’ (2005) 8 International Journal of Sustainable Development 47.

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Ketschau, T.J., “Social sustainable development or sustainable social developmenttwo sides of the same coin? the structure of social justice as a normative basis for the social dimension of sustainability.” International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics 12, no. 3 (2017): 338-347, 338.

Kramer, J.M. and Johnson, C.D., “Sustainable Development and Social Development: Necessary Partners for the Future.” Sustainable Development (1996), 79.

Kramer, J.M. and Johnson, C.D., “Sustainable Development and Social Development: Necessary Partners for the Future.” Sustainable Development (1996), 79.

Martens, Jens. “Redefining policies for sustainable development.” Exploring (2018): 11, 20.

Michel J, The Rule of Law and Sustainable Development. Center for Strategic & International Studies, 2020, 5.

National Environment Management Authority, Kenya State of Environment Report 2019-2021 1849/Kenya%20State%20of%20Environment%20Report%202019-2021%20final-min.pdf accessed 17 July 2022.

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Panayotou, T., “Economic Growth and the Environment.” CID Working Paper Series (2000), 1.

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Szetey, K., Moallemi, E.A., Ashton, E., Butcher, M., Sprunt, B. and Bryan, B.A., ‘CoCreating Local Socioeconomic Pathways for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’ (2021) 16 Sustainability Science 1251, 1251 accessed 13 July 2022.

Szetey, K., Moallemi, E.A., Ashton, E., Butcher, M., Sprunt, B. and Bryan, B.A., ‘Co-Creating Local Socioeconomic Pathways for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’ (2021) 16 Sustainability Science 1251.

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Urama, Kevin, Nicholas Ozor, and Ernest Acheampong, “Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Through Transformative Governance Practices and Vertical Alignment at the National and Subnational Levels in Africa,” SDplanNet Africa Regional Workshop, March 3–5, 2014.

Urama, Kevin, Nicholas Ozor, and Ernest Acheampong, “Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Through Transformative Governance Practices and Vertical Alignment at the National and Subnational Levels in Africa,” SDplanNet Africa Regional Workshop, March 3–5, 2014, 2.

Urama, Kevin, Nicholas Ozor, and Ernest Acheampong, “Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Through Transformative Governance Practices and Vertical Alignment at the National and Subnational Levels in Africa,” SDplanNet Africa Regional Workshop, March 3–5, 2014, 3 < https://www.iisd.org/system/files/publications/sdplannet_africa.pdf> Accessed on 25 June 2022.

Vatn, Arild, Environmental governance: institutions, policies and actions, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015, p. 133.

News & Analysis

What is Carbon Markets?

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Written by Faith Nyambura Kabora, Advocate.

Carbon markets are a mechanism designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which are essentially gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to the negative impacts of climate change such as prolonged drought and rising of sea levels.

Carbon markets operate on the principle of putting a price on carbon emissions to create commercial/economic incentives for public and private entities to reduce their carbon footprint and invest in cleaner, sustainable practices.

Ideally, by putting a price on carbon, the carbon markets encourage sustainable environmental practices and help counties meet their emission reduction targets under international treaties, like the Paris Agreement, which Kenya is a signatory to. For a broader understanding, here is how a carbon market works;

  1. A Government establishes a limit on the total amount of greenhouse gas emission/pollution is allowed within its geographical limits;
  2. A grant, say permissions are created and distributed to eligible participants. This allowance represents the right to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gas;
  3. The participants can then buy and sell the allowances. Ideally, those who reduce their emissions more efficiently sell their surplus allowance to those who find it more challenging to reduce the emissions. If a company pollutes a lot, they need to buy more permissions, and if they do not pollute as much, they can sell their extra permissions.
  4. Entities are required to hold enough allowances to cover their actual emissions. If they exceed allocated allowances, they face penalties or, as expounded above, they buy additional allowances. This is the part where compliance becomes mandatory for all the key players.
  5. The price of the allowances fluctuates based on supply and demands and reflects the cost of emitting greenhouse gases. It is essentially like paying for pollution.

A carbon market plays a pivotal role in advancing climate action and promoting sustainable practices by incentivizing companies to reconsider their pollution practices, which can result in financial consequences as pollution becomes a costly endeavor. In Kenya, the introduction of a Carbon Market is imperative as the world confronts the dire consequences of climate change. Furthermore, it offers a commercial opportunity for investors considering the growing demand for environmentally friendly and carbon neutral products and services.

As mentioned above, the Paris Agreement is one of the most important international treaties dedicated strengthen global response to the negative impact of climate change. Ultimately, the Agreement’s goal is to motivate countries to limit global emissions and more importantly, to hold them accountable for their actions around reducing their carbon footprints.

Kenya as a signatory to the Paris Agreement has made significant contributions towards fulfilling the obligations under the Paris Agreement of limiting global temperature. The Climate Change (Amendment) Act 2023, nudges Kenya towards the realization of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement by introducing provisions and regulation of and participation in carbon markets.

As one of the top law firms in Nairobi, MMA Advocates is renowned for its proactive strategy and innovative legal lawyer advice. Our firm is committed to delivering strategic assistance that not only tackles current difficulties but also equips clients for future legal trends and advancements. As top lawyers in Nairobi Kenya, we take great satisfaction in our ability to combine in-depth legal knowledge with creative problem-solving. We keep a close eye on business trends and legal advancements to deliver timely guidance that enables our clients to make wise choices.

Our main goal as MMA Advocates is to establish long-lasting partnerships based on integrity, decency, and reliability. Since every client’s circumstance is unique, our best advocates in Kenya offer timely service and individualized attention at every stage of our collaboration. We make sure our clients are informed and empowered throughout their legal journey because we value openness and transparency in communication. In every case we take on, we are deeply committed to obtaining positive results and client satisfaction. This is just one aspect of our unwavering commitment to quality.

Whether you are a startup negotiating regulatory obstacles, an established corporation expanding, or a private citizen seeking legal assistance on personal problems, our Best Corporate Lawyers in Kenya are dedicated to becoming your legal partner. Our expertise include Commercial Litigation, Real Estate & Development, Fintech, Public Procurement (Public Private Partnerships), Project Finance, Public Law Litigation, Legal Audits & Compliance Advisory and Crisis Management.

We hope to arm you with the legal know-how and strategies needed to achieve your objectives. Our team enjoys taking on challenging legal matters with creativity and strategic understanding, protecting your rights and effectively achieving your goals. With a thorough comprehension of both regional laws and global norms, we are prepared to confidently and competently lead you through the complexities of corporate law.

In the intensely competitive legal arena, our tailored legal and strategic solutions distinguish us. We value depth over breadth, guaranteeing our clients our full dedication and unparalleled efficiency. Where many spread themselves wide, we narrow our focus to a select few of the most challenging cases. We tread the path less traveled.

To find out more about how MMA Advocates in Nairobi Kenya can help you with your legal issues, get in touch with us. With our team of committed professionals and our standing as one of the top law firms in Nairobi, we are well-positioned to offer outcomes that surpass expectations and guarantee your success in a legal environment that is always changing.

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News & Analysis

Review: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Journal, Volume 12(3), 2024

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The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Journal, Volume. 12, No.3, 2024 covers pertinent and emerging issues across all ADR mechanisms. This volume exposes our readers to a variety of salient topics and concerns in ADR including Building Peace in Africa, Public Policy as a Ground of Setting-Aside an Arbitral Award, Ethics, Integrity and Best Practice in Mediation, Accessing Justice in Kenya, Sports Arbitration, ESG Arbitration, Arbitration of Investor-State Dispute in Kenya, Article 159(2) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and issuance of interim measures by Arbitral Tribunals. The ADR Journal is a publication of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Kenya Branch. It provides a platform for scholarly debate and in-depth investigations into both theoretical and practical questions in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

The journal is edited by Professor of Law at the University of Nairobi, Faculty of Law Hon Prof. Kariuki Muigua, a distinguished law scholar, an accomplished mediator and arbitrator with a Ph.D. in law from the University of Nairobi and widespread training and experience in both international and national commercial arbitration and mediation. Prof. Muigua is a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)- Kenya chapter and also a Chartered Arbitrator. He is a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague. He also serves as a member of the National Environment Tribunal. He has served as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrator’s (CIArb- UK) Regional Trustee for Africa from 2019 -2022.

In the paper “Building Peace in Africa through Alternative Dispute Resolution”  Hon. Prof. Kariuki Muigua critically discusses the role of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms in peace building in Africa. The paper argues that ADR mechanisms can play a fundamental role in building peace in Africa. The paper further posits that ADR mechanisms are able to enhance sustainable peace in Africa due to their focus on reconciliation and restorative justice. It proposes solutions towards building peace in Africa through ADR.

In “the Emergence of the International Commercial Court: A Threat to Arbitration of Investor-State Dispute in Kenya” Marion Injendi Wasike and Dr. Kenneth W. Mutuma argue that the proliferation of international commercial courts, including their introduction in Kenya, necessitates a thorough analysis of their implications on arbitration’s role in investor-state disputes. By juxtaposing these emerging judicial entities against traditional arbitration paradigms, the discussion aims to unravel the complexities and potential shifts in dispute resolution preferences, highlighting the balance between innovation in legal adjudication and the sustenance of arbitration’s revered position in the international legal order.

Kamau Karori SC, MBS in “Striking a Balance: A Delicate Dance Between Sanctity and Scrutiny” notes that the continuing debate —between upholding the inviolability of arbitral awards and judicial intervention in cases of egregious injustice points to the need for delicate balancing between non-interference and the need to correct unmistakably unjust awards. The urgency of this discourse is informed by the need to prevent consumers or potential consumers of arbitration services opting to exclude arbitration clauses due to perceived deficiencies. The article seeks to navigate the genesis of the debate, delicately dissect the different perspectives, and draw comparisons with global practices.

The article “Reforming Kenya’s Law on Probation and Aftercare Services to Promote Alternative Dispute Resolution” by Michael Sang engages in a comprehensive exploration of Kenya’s Probation of Offenders Act within the context of the growing role of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) principles in the nation’s criminal justice system. Drawing inspiration from international legal instruments such as “The Beijing Rules,” “Bangkok Rules,” and “Tokyo Rules,” the study evaluates the Act’s provisions, strengths, and limitations. It concludes with a call for thoughtful reforms that align Kenya’s criminal justice system with international standards, emphasizing a balanced and compassionate approach to justice.

The “Upholding Ethics, Integrity and Best Practice in Mediation” by Hon. Prof. Kariuki Muigua, OGW critically discusses the need for standardization of mediation practice in Kenya by adopting best practices. It examines some of the challenges facing mediation practice in Kenya. It is also explores measures adopted towards fostering best practices in mediation at both the global and national level. The paper further suggests recommendations aimed at upholding ethics, integrity and best practice in mediation. In “Exploring the Role of Mediation in Promoting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Fostering Economic Growth in Kenya” Atundo Wambare offers an in-depth analysis of the use of mediation in promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises (SME’s). He makes recommendations on how best mediation can be harnessed as a tool for economic growth in Kenya.

James Njuguna and Nyamboga George Nyanaro in “Compulsory Resolution or Autonomy Erosion? The Debate on Mandatory Sports Arbitration delve into the contentious issue of mandatory sports arbitration, questioning its role as a potential future pathway for dispute resolution. Their research examines the implications of compulsory arbitration on athletes’ autonomy, juxtaposing it with the benefits of expedited dispute resolution.

Paul Ngotho in “Constitution of Kenya 2010 Article 159.2.(c): Ancestry, Anatomy, Efficacy & Legacy” traces the rather odd origin and everlasting effect of the often-cited Article 159.2.(c) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. It acknowledges the central role played by two members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Kenya Branch, quietly and privately, away from the mainstream constitution making process. One of them chairman of the Branch, the other the Minister of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs.

David Onsare in “Navigating The ESG Maze: Emerging Trends in Arbitration and Corporate Accountability” embarks on a timely exploration of the dynamic interplay between Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors and arbitration, a field gaining critical importance in the realm of corporate accountability. By offering a comprehensive view of the complexities and practical implications of ESG in arbitration, the article serves as a crucial guide for legal professionals navigating the evolving landscape of corporate responsibility and arbitration. In “Public Policy as a Ground of Setting-Aside an Arbitral Award: Musings on the Centurion Engineers Civil Appeal Judgment”

Ibrahim Kitoo argues a case for upholding of public policy as a ground for the nonrecognition, non-enforcement and setting aside of an arbitral award in cases where to recognise and enforce such awards proves to be a clear violation of the law and against the public good. Juvenalis Ngowi in “Arbitral Tribunals: Do they have the power to issue interim measures during the proceedings?” discusses the powers of the Arbitral Tribunal to grant such orders and examines some procedural rules which empower arbitrators to issue such orders, the scope of those powers, and the factors to be considered when granting interim measures in the arbitral proceedings.

In “Examining the Efficacy of Mediation as A Tool for Accessing Justice in Kenya: Opportunities, Challenges, and Future Perspectives” Murithi Antony undertakes a thorough examination of mediation as a form of ADR in the Kenyan context. He identifies opportunities arising from the integration of mediation into the country’s legal system and explores barriers impeding its widespread adoption. The article concludes with a resounding call to action for all stakeholders to champion the use of mediation collaboratively and proactively, given its proven efficacy in dispute resolution.

Kariuki Muigua & Company Advocates is a Top-Tier Kenyan law firm situated at the heart of Nairobi city in Kenya. We are a broad-based practice with a reputation for offering a full range of quality services to our domestic and international clients.

At KM&CO, we take pride in offering personalized attention to our diverse clientele. Our practice aspires to offer efficient and cost-effective legal solutions that meet our esteemed clients’ needs in a timely and competent manner.

KM&CO was founded in 1993 by the current senior Advocate, Dr. Kariuki Muigua. It is based in the Central Business District of Nairobi at the Pioneer Assurance House located opposite 7th August Bomb Blast Memorial Park enjoying the convenience of close proximity to major financial, commercial and governmental institutions.

We are open for consultations with our clients worldwide; we have lawyers on standby for 24 hours to cover diverse time zones that impact on our global clients.

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Way Forward in Applying Collaborative Approaches Towards Conflict Management

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By Hon. Prof. Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, C.Arb, FCIArb is a Professor of Environmental Law and Dispute Resolution at the University of Nairobi, Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration, Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Respected Sustainable Development Policy Advisor, Top Natural Resources Lawyer, Highly-Regarded Dispute Resolution Expert and Awardee of the Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) of Kenya by H.E. the President of Republic of Kenya. He is the Academic Champion of ADR 2024, the African ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, the African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, ADR Practitioner of the Year in Kenya 2021, CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 and ADR Publisher of the Year 2021 and Author of the Kenya’s First ESG Book: Embracing Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) tenets for Sustainable Development” (Glenwood, Nairobi, July 2023) and Kenya’s First Two Climate Change Law Book: Combating Climate Change for Sustainability (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023), Achieving Climate Justice for Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023), Promoting Rule of Law for Sustainable Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, January 2024) and Actualizing the Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment (Glenwood, Nairobi, March 2024)*

It is necessary to embrace and utilize collaborative approaches in managing conflicts. These techniques include mediation, negotiation, and facilitation. These mechanisms are effective in managing conflicts since they encourage parties to embrace and address disagreements through empathy and listening towards mutually beneficial solutions. Collaborative approaches also have the potential to preserve relationships, build trust, and promote long term positive change. They also ensure a win-win solution is found so that everyone is satisfied which creates the condition for peace and sustainability. These approaches are therefore ideal in managing conflicts. It is therefore important to embrace collaborative approaches in order to ensure effective management of conflicts.

In addition, it is necessary for third parties including mediators and facilitators to develop their skills and techniques in order to enhance the effectiveness of collaborative approaches towards conflict management. For example, it has correctly been observed that mediators and facilitators should listen actively and empathetically in order to assist parties to collaborate towards managing their dispute. Therefore, when a dispute arises, the first step should involve listening to all parties involved with an open mind and without judgment. This should entail active listening, which means paying attention to both verbal and nonverbal cues and acknowledging the emotions and perceptions involved.

It has been observed that by listening empathetically, a third party such as a mediator of facilitator can understand each person’s perspective and start to build a foundation for resolving the conflict through collaboration. In addition, while collaborating towards conflict management, it is necessary to encourage and help parties to focus on interests and not positions. It has been pointed out that focusing positions can result in a standstill which can delay or even defeat the conflict management process. However, by identifying and addressing the underlying interests parties can find common ground and collaborate towards coming up with creative solutions towards their conflict.

Mediators and facilitators should also assist parties to look for areas of agreement or shared goals. Identifying a common ground can build momentum and create a positive environment for resolving the conflict. Further, in order to ensure the effectiveness of collaborative approaches in conflict management, it is necessary to build strong collaboration. It has been asserted that strong collaboration can be achieved by establishing a shared purpose, cultivating trust among parties, encouraging active participation by all parties, and promoting effective communication.

Strong collaboration enables parties to develop trust between and among themselves and strengthen communication channels between the various parties. It also helps to generate inclusive solutions that arise from wider stakeholders’ views. Therefore while applying collaborative approaches, it is necessary for parties to foster strong collaboration by identifying common goals, building trust, ensuring that all stakeholders are involved, and communicating effectively in order to come up with win-win outcomes.

Finally, while embracing collaborative approaches in conflict management, it is necessary for parties to consider seeking help from third parties if need arises. For example, negotiation is always the first point of call whenever a conflict arises whereby parties attempt to manage their conflict without the involvement of third parties. It has been described as the most effective collaborative approach towards conflict management since it starts with an understanding by both parties that they must search for solutions that satisfy everyone.

It enables parties to a dispute to come together to openly discuss the issue causing tension, actively listen to each other, and come up with mutually satisfactory solutions. However, it has been correctly observed that negotiation may fail especially if the conflict is particularly complex or involves multiple parties due to challenges in collaborating. In such circumstances, where negotiation fails, parties should consider resorting to other collaborative approaches such as mediation and facilitation where they attempt to manage the conflict with the help of a third party. A mediator or facilitator can assist parties to collaborate and continue with the negotiations and ultimately break the deadlock.

*This is an extract from Kenya’s First Clean and Healthy Environment Book: Actualizing the Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment (Glenwood, Nairobi, January 2024) by Hon. Prof.  Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, Professor of Environmental Law and Dispute Resolution, Senior Advocate of Kenya, Chartered Arbitrator, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 (Nairobi Legal Awards), ADR Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 (CIArb Kenya), African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, Africa ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, Member of National Environment Tribunal (NET) Emeritus (2017 to 2023) and Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration nominated by Republic of Kenya and Academic Champion of ADR 2024. Prof. Kariuki Muigua is a foremost Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert in Kenya. Prof. Kariuki Muigua teaches Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law, The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP) and Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies. He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Prof. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates and Africa Trustee Emeritus of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 2019-2022. Prof. Muigua is a 2023 recipient of President of the Republic of Kenya Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) Award for his service to the Nation as a Distinguished Expert, Academic and Scholar in Dispute Resolution and recognized among the top 5 leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts in Band 1 in Kenya by the Chambers Global Guide 2024 and was listed in the Inaugural THE LAWYER AFRICA Litigation Hall of Fame 2023 as one of the Top 50 Most Distinguished Litigation Lawyers in Kenya and the Top Arbitrator in Kenya in 2023.

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Kariuki Muigua & Company Advocates is a Top-Tier Kenyan law firm situated at the heart of Nairobi city in Kenya. We are a broad-based practice with a reputation for offering a full range of quality services to our domestic and international clients.

At KM&CO, we take pride in offering personalized attention to our diverse clientele. Our practice aspires to offer efficient and cost-effective legal solutions that meet our esteemed clients’ needs in a timely and competent manner.

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