A practitioner’s perspective by Obosa Akpata, LLM, FCIArb.


A presentation delivered to the Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria (MAAN) 5th Annual One-day Workshop held at the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Lekki, Lagos, on the 20thof November, 2015.


maritime_registrarIt is common practice locally and internationally to have arbitral tribunals engage the services of a tribunal registrar to facilitate the smooth and efficient management of the arbitration proceedings whilst freeing up the tribunal to focus on the substantive adjudication of the arbitral reference. Tribunal registrars are also referred to as ‘arbitral secretaries’, ‘tribunal secretaries’ or ‘administrative secretaries’. I shall refer to them as ‘tribunal registrars’.

In arbitration, reference to registrars may include the provision of infrastructure and oversight services of the arbitral proceedings by an Institution, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), Singapore International Arbitration Commission (SIAC), India Council of Arbitration (ICA), etc. In these Institutions the services of a registrar go beyond the administration of the arbitration reference to include powers to accept or reject an application for arbitration by the Institution, approval of the arbitrators who may be nominated by the parties, scrutiny and approval of the draft award before it is issued, extension of time limits, review of set fees and costs of the arbitration, etc.

As the title of this paper indicates, the focus of my presentation is the registrar whose services are required by the tribunal and the parties for the running of the arbitral proceedings. This service may however be provided by an institution or an individual.


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