International Journal of Business & Law Research 3(1):53-59, Jan-Mar 2015 (ISSN: 2360-8986)



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ENFORCEMENT IN NIGERIA OF INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRAL AWARDS BASED ON LEX MERCATORIA


Ikenga ORAEGBUNAM
Senior Lecturer, Department of International Law & Jurisprudence
Faculty of Law, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, P.M.B. 5025, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
E-mail: ikengaken@gmail.com; Phone: +2348034711211

ABSTRACT
Opinions are divided among arbitration law scholars as to the reality of the existence, the credibility, and the validity of LEX MERCATORIA as a possible applicable law to be chosen by parties to arbitration agreement and proceedings. Many are scholars who do not uphold that LEX MERCATORIA actually represents a discrete body of law. They argue that no definite body of law and legal principles can easily be fingered and identified as LEX MERCATORIA. Some others, however, agree that LEX MERCATORIA exists as an amalgam of most globally accepted principles which govern international commercial relations such as public international law, certain uniform laws, general principles of law, rules of international organizations, customs and usages of international trade, standard form contracts, and arbitral case law. Yet, it does appear that in spite of this controversy, the increasing appeal to LEX MERCATORIA as a choice of governing substantive law to an arbitration has not been dampened. It is thus argued that as an international commercial law in miniature, LEX MERCATORIA is often an ideal, if not the only, option when no single national law is acceptable. However, even as LEX MERCATORIA undergoes more stringent definition, concerned scholars, and particularly parties may well wonder whether contracts governed by LEX MERCATORIA are enforceable, and whether the ensuing arbitral awards are enforceable by national courts. This paper examines the possibility of enforcing in Nigeria an arbitral award based on LEX MERCATORIA.
Key Words: LexMercatoria, Arbitral Awards, Enforceability, Jurisprudence, Nigeria