By Kasimu Musa Ititi
Arbitration is widely acknowledged as the most prevalent form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) worldwide. It aims to ensure fair, efficient, and prompt resolution of disputes, distinguishing itself from the conventional court system. Given the proliferation of businesses involving frequent transactions and the inevitability of disputes, arbitration has emerged as the most practical method to address such conflicts. Unlike other ADR mechanisms, arbitration involves an independent third party, an arbitrator, who arbitrates and resolves the dispute between the concerned parties. Similar to court judgments, an arbitrator or arbitral tribunal issues an award, which holds binding and enforceable status under the law.
In addition to discussing the well-known arbitral awards, this article sheds light on the concept of ‘additional award’ as expounded in a high court decision regarding a specific case.
An additional arbitral award is one that is delivered after the principal award has been issued. Essentially, it is an award encompassing all corrections and interpretations of provisions provided in the principal award. However, obtaining an additional award necessitates a written request to the tribunal, seeking further hearings. The provision for an additional arbitral award is section 64(1) of the Arbitration Act (Cap 15 R.E 2020), hereinafter referred to as “the Act”. This section allows parties to agree on the powers of the Arbitral Tribunal to correct or make additional awards.
The circumstances under which an additional arbitral award may be issued are outlined in sections 64(1) and 64(2) of the Arbitration Act. These circumstances are as follows:
- Agreement of Parties
Parties involved in arbitration may agree to grant the arbitrator or arbitral tribunal the authority to issue an additional award. Therefore, for an additional award to be issued, the concerned parties need to come to a mutual agreement on the tribunal’s powers to issue such an award.
- Absence of Agreement
In cases where parties fail to reach an agreement, the arbitral tribunal may, at its own discretion or upon application by either party, issue an additional arbitral award concerning any claim, including claims for interest or costs, that were presented to the tribunal but were not addressed in the principal award. This provision is invoked when parties do not agree on the powers of the arbitral tribunal, and the claim had been presented but not dealt with in the principal award.
The procedures for applying for an additional arbitral award are stipulated in sections 64(4) and 64(5) of the Arbitration Act:
- Application Timing
A party requesting an additional arbitral award must submit the application within twenty-eight days from the date the original or principal award was delivered.
- Arbitral Tribunal Initiative
An additional arbitral award made by the arbitral tribunal on its own initiative must be issued within twenty-eight days from the date of the principal award.
- Parties’ Agreement
Parties are free to mutually agree upon a longer period if they choose to do so.
- Time Limit for Issuance
An additional award must be issued within fifty-six days from the date of the original award or such longer period as parties may agree upon.
Failure to adhere to the stipulated procedures for obtaining an additional arbitral award has consequences. The application for an additional award becomes time-barred, and the Arbitrator acts without jurisdiction. Consequently, an additional award made out of time and without jurisdiction is legally ineffective and should be set aside.
In conclusion, with the escalating growth of businesses and transactions globally, disputes among stakeholders have become inevitable. Arbitration is now regarded as a faster and more efficient means of resolving disputes, making it a preferable choice over traditional litigation. Given the urgency often associated with resolving commercial disputes, arbitration is gaining traction as a swift and efficient method. It is imperative for the Tanzanian community to consider adopting arbitration as a faster and more efficient form of dispute resolution.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to provide legal advice but to provide general information on the matter covered in the Article. The article does not constitute and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. Victory Attorneys & Consultants shall not be responsible for any loss in the event this Article is relied upon without seeking our professional advice first.