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Ethiopian Law on Arbitral Interim Measures: Towards Dispelling the Ambivalence

Nigusssie Tizazu


The recognition and application interim measures amidst litigation proceedings could help the proper protection of the rights of the parties andincrease the efficacy of process. This holds true for arbitration proceeding as well. Traditionally, the power to order interim and precautionary  measures in arbitration proceedings have been exercised by regular courts virtually in all jurisdictions. Nowadays, that jurisprudence has changed in  several jurisdictions. International institutions such as the UNCITRAL have facilitated the development of trends that vests arbitral tribunals more  legitimacy, trust and power including the power to order interim measures. UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration  (hereinafter UNCITRAL Model Law) provides the baseline rules for arbitration in general. These rules vest arbitral tribunals the power to order  interim measure. The model law has influenced several jurisdictions and it is shaping the rules regarding the power to order interim measures. The  Civil Procedure Code (CPC) of Ethiopia which deals with arbitration does not seem to specifically address interim measures to be granted by  tribunals. The implication of such legal silence on the exercise of the power to order interim measures by tribunals has not been researched well so  far. This work  examined legal stance and the practice of arbitration tribunals to  order arbitral interim measures in Ethiopia. To this end, the study  employed a qualitative research method focusing on reviewing documents (such as relevant laws, arbitral awards, case files, and related literature)  and conducting a series of interviews. The analysis of Ethiopian law, arbitrators’ practices, and decisions of courts showed that arbitrators have the  power to grant interim measures but the legal discourse and the practice suffered uncertainties. This author argued for a bold step, in Ethiopia, to  assure arbitral tribunals unquestionable power to order interim measures.

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eISSN: 2709-5827
print ISSN: 2306-224X