Participants at the Inaugural Malawi International Commercial Arbitration Seminar that took place in Mangochi,Malawi were urged to have international impact in arbitration.
Speaking during the opening ceremony on 26 January 2022, a representative of the attorney general, Mr. Alfred Majamanda-LLM(Commercial Law) said through the knowledge gained from the seminar, law practitioners should advance the interests of the bar while preserving interest of their clients not only at national or regional level.
Advocate Michael Kuper from The Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa-AFSA said disputes in the SADC region should not require to outsource arbitration expertise from other continents.
Advocate Kuper added that the seminar is the starting point for Malawi and SADC to standout on issues that require international arbitration.
As the host, Malawi Law Society President, Mr Patrick Gray Mpaka added that there is a desperate need to open up to the best use of arbitration in resolving disputes.
After the opening ceremony the seminar had presentations on Defining International Commercial Arbitration by Mr Paulman Chungu from Rancho Chungu Associates in Zambia, The Newyork Convention on Arbitration and The Key Principles in International arbitration presented by Arbitrator Susan Mutangadura from The Arbitration Chambers, Zimbabwe.
The second day,27 January 2022, had a pannel discussion focusing on requirements and techniques in writing a valid award as well as the challenges that may follow the enforcement of the award.
Presentations were also shared on the roles of the courts in international arbitration and how Malawian courts intervene in arbitration.
During the closing ceremony on 28 January 2022 Malawi's Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda affirmed government's commitment to domesticate the Newyork Convention on Arbitration to promote international arbitration and make the country more conducive for business.
The Attorney general added that this will make alternative dispute resolution favourable to compliment the courts particularly on commercial disputes.
Advocate Michael Kuper urged law practitioners through the Malawi Law Society to propagate and involve themselves in the process of creating credible arbitration structures.
The seminar was organised by Malawi Law Society, SADC Lawyers Association and AFSA. The Seminar had over 130 participants attending physically and virtually.