In order to raise awareness and sensitization about Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) among students, Resolve360 organized the inaugural Resolve360 Inter-University Arbitration Moot in Uganda. This moot competition, which was hosted at International University of East Africa in Kansanga on 28th October 2023, brought together six (6) universities from across the country. The six (6) universities included: International University of East Africa, Makerere University, Gulu University, Cavendish University, Uganda Pentecostal University and Islamic University in Uganda-Kampala Campus. The six universities assembled twenty-one (21) teams which engaged in a friendly but intense mock dispute resolution scenario. This first moot featured an arbitration question.
Resolve360 is a pioneering firm at the forefront of promoting ADR as a viable and effective method of resolving disputes in Uganda. Our focus is on providing training, advocacy and consultancy on Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in all sectors across Uganda and Africa at large. We aim to achieve capacity-building in the ADR field, and also successfully impact various sectors, thereby leading to more streamlined, cost-effective, and efficient conflict resolution. This has proven to be invaluable in many sectors across the global. We seek to be industry leaders in Uganda in this regard.
ADR Awareness Gap Among Students and Young Professionals
Despite the proven advantages of ADR, we have observed a significant gap in sensitization and practice of these techniques among students and young professionals in Uganda. In fact, ADR mechanisms are not widely taught at most universities or even across all courses at the universities. Since the students at the universities represent the future of their professions, it is crucial to equip them with the knowledge and skills required to employ ADR in their future careers.
Additionally, since most young professionals have not largely interfaced with ADR mechanisms during their formation time at the university, there is a need to drive up activities that can attract their interest in the field and thereby encourage them to undergo training in ADR. This will allow them to use the different skills obtained from the different mechanisms in their professions. Many potential beneficiaries of ADR are unaware of its potential, and this lack of awareness hinders the growth of this invaluable method in our legal landscape.
We are committed to addressing this gap and fostering a greater understanding of ADR within the next generation. With this in sight, one of the ways to address this lack of sensitization and awareness, more so amongst law students, was through organizing a moot competition and a networking event. It was on this premise, that we organized this very first Inter-University Arbitration Moot Competition on 28th October 2023 and a pre-moot conference/networking event on 27th October 2023.
The Pre-Moot Conference
The Pre-Moot Conference was organized as a precursor to the Inter-University Arbitration Moot. This Conference was hosted by the International University of East Africa and was open to university students, participants in the moot and young professionals.
The Pre-Moot Conference featured two panels with distinct discussion points. Panel 1 was charged with a discussion about the place of young practitioners in the field of ADR while Panel 2 held discussions about the use of arbitration across different sectors in Uganda.
Panel 1 which had Kaddu Suubi Jeffrey, MCIArb, Edith Twinamatsiko and Alber Mukasa, FCIArb as speakers was moderated by Annie Maria Adikin from Makerere University. This panel painted the picture of a young student’s path into ADR and arbitration in particular by drawing comparisons from the different experiences of the panelists.
Panel 2 which had David Kaggwa, FCIArb, FICCP, Arnold Twine, Begumya Rushongoza, Ivan Ojakol and Gavamukulya Charles MCIArb, AICCP as panelists largely explored the use of arbitration in different sectors which included sports, banking, civil engineering, tax, corporate and commercial. The nuanced discussions from this panel were enriching in as far as understanding the procedure, landscape and challenges that arbitration faces in the different sectors.
There was an evening tea networking event organized by the International University of East Africa where the students got to interact with different panelists and organizers.
The Moot Competition was held on Saturday 28th October, 2023 at International University of East Africa, Kampala. The moot question tested the participant’s knowledge of issues related to the arbitral tribunal’s jurisdiction in a multi-tiered arbitration clause. It also raised questions about whether the arbitration clause could bind the respondent who was a non-signatory to the contract and whether the resulting award would be enforceable under the New York Convention.
The 21 teams participated in 2 preliminary rounds after which the four teams with the highest scores were chosen to participate in the semi final round. The four teams that reached the semifinal round included Makerere University Team A (Res7), Cavendish University Team A(Res11), International University of East Africa (Res14) and Makerere University Team C (Res 4).
Makerere University Team A (Res7) and Makerere Team C(Res4) proceeded to the final round where Makerere University Team A (Res7) emerged the overall best team.
It is these two teams that will be proceeding for the regional CIArb Kenya Branch Moot in Nairobi next year. The participants in these teams were:
|Makerere University Team A (Res 7)
|Makerere University Team C (Res 4)
|Annie Maria Adikin
|Reagan Siima Musinguzi
|Akankwatsa Conrad Albert
The best oralist in the moot was Rutendo Moyo from International University of East Africa and the second best oralist was Reagan Siima Musinguzi.
Sponsors and Partners
Special thanks go to our sponsors CG Engineering Consults who were able to bankroll most of the operations of the event and coordinate the activities together with the steering committee from Resolve 360 that was headed by Derrick Kizito Kunyiga, MCIArb as the moot director and Faith Kukundakwe.
Special thanks go to International University of East Africa which hosted both the Pre-Moot conference and the Moot competition. The University also organized a networking event which was beneficial to the participants.
CIArb Kenya Branch, which was represented by Evelyne Kimani, MCIArb, the Business Development and Marketing Manager, are strategic partners for this moot. The top two teams are headed to the CIArb Kenya Branch regional moot and we are grateful for their presence since the inception stage. Special thanks also go to the CIArb Uganda chapter for being a part of the event.
We will be looking forward to having more companies on board in the second edition and also looking forward to more nuanced discussions about Arbitration in Uganda.