ICAMEK will complement and not compete with CADER in commercial disputes- AG

ICAMEK stakeholders during the launch of strategic plan.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The International Centre for Arbitration and Mediation in Kampala will complement the work for Center for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (CADAR) Uganda in the quest to fasten commercial dispute resolution out of the normal court processes and not compete against each other, according to the Deputy Attorney General Jackson Kafuuzi Karugaba.

Karugaba, who spoke during the launch of the ICAMEK strategic plan 2020-2023, said the new entity’s decision to offer ADR is highly welcome as it will help resolve commercial dispute quickly and at a low cost.

“I am not talking on behalf of ICAMEK but I think it is not going to compete with CEDAR…we need innovations that will help to reduce time in commercial disputes,” he said.

This development comes at the time CADER Uganda has dragged the Attorney General to court seeking government to do away with its competitor, ICAMEK) which was launched in April last year.

CADER which is the statutory body with jurisdiction over arbitration matters in the country has tasked government to protect its jurisdiction from the alleged infringement.

ICAMEK is an independent, not-for-profit organisation formed by Uganda Law Society and Uganda Bankers Association to advance Alternative Dispute Resolution in Uganda and across East Africa.

In addition, a section of lawyers have also sued ULS and ICAMEK, a limited liability company seeking for court declarations that the lawyers professional body acted outside its statutory mandate hence acted illegally by subscribing as a member of ICAMEK.

Francis Gimara, a member of the Board of Directors at ICAMEK, said the birth of the entity was triggered by Uganda’s overwhelming and ever-growing numbers of commercial disputes coupled with the demand by different stakeholders for an effective dispute settlement mechanism that will contribute towards creating an environment that facilitates the growth and development of business in Uganda.

He revealed that more than Shs 5 trillion is currently locked up in the formal judicial system in the process of resolving commercial disputes.

“We want to incorporate Alternative Dispute Resolution in the private sector’s contracts such that when a dispute a rises, they are in position to resolve them in a manner that will save them time and cost,” he said.

“This is aimed at allowing the private sector resolve their disputes quicker and in manner that is agreed upon by each partners.”

He said the legal fraternity is also taking steps to build its capacity in relation to ADR in preparation for representing Ugandan government in big cases abroad.

Gideon Badagawa, the executive director at the Private Sector Foundation Uganda said they welcome the new initiative as it will enhance investments in the country. He said the private sector is ready to support ICAMEK in all manner including resources mobilization.

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