Proceedings subsequent to issuance of award

Interpretation and correction of awards

Does the arbitral tribunal have the power to correct or interpret an award on its own or at the parties’ initiative? What time limits apply?

The Arbitral tribunal has the power to correct or interpret an award. This can be done either at the request of a party to the arbitral proceeding or at the instance of the arbitral tribunal. In default of agreement the request for interpretation or correction is made by notice with 30 days of receipt of the award. The request of the party may either be to:

  • correct in the award any errors in computation, clerical or typographical errors or any other errors of similar nature; or
  • request for an interpretation of a specific award or point or part of the award.
Challenge of awards

How and on what grounds can awards be challenged and set aside?

The Arbitration (Court Proceedings) Rules Statutory Instrument No. 75 of 2001 in section 23 provides that an application to set aside an award will be made to a judge of the High Court by originating summons. The application will be accompanied by an affidavit stating the facts relied upon in support of the application, exhibiting the original award, stating the date of receipt of the award by the party, arbitration agreement and other evidence with respect to the matters referred to.

Section 17(2) of the Arbitration Act No. 19 of 2000 has set out the ground for challenging an award:

  • a party to the arbitration agreement was under some incapacity; or the said agreement is not valid under the law to which the parties have subjected it or, failing any indication thereon, under the laws of Zambia;
  • the party making the application was not given proper notice of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitral proceedings, or was otherwise unable to present his or her case;
  • the award deals with a dispute not contemplated by, or not falling within the terms of, the submission to arbitration, or contains decisions on matters beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration, provided that, if the decision on matters submitted to arbitration can be separated from those not so submitted, only that part of the award that contains decisions on matters not submitted to arbitration may be set aside;
  • the composition of the arbitral tribunal or the arbitral procedure was not in accordance with the agreement of the parties or, failing such agreement, was not in accordance with this Act or the law of the country where the arbitration took place; and
  • the award has not yet become binding on the parties or has been set aside or suspended by a court of the country in which, or under the law of which, that award was made, or if the court finds that:
    • the subject-matter of the dispute is not capable of settlement by arbitration under the law of Zambia;
    • the award is in conflict with public policy; and
    • the making of the award was induced or effected by fraud, corruption or misrepresentation.
Levels of appeal

How many levels of appeal are there? How long does it generally take until a challenge is decided at each level? Approximately what costs are incurred at each level? How are costs apportioned among the parties?

There are two levels of appeal. A dissatisfied party with regard to setting aside an award can appeal against the decision of a High Court judge to the Court of Appeal. If the party is not satisfied, it can make a further appeal to the Supreme Court of Zambia as a last recourse, as the final level. However, appeal to the Supreme Court is not automatic, as leave has to be sought and the party seeking the appeal must demonstrate that the appeal brings forth issues or questions that are not settled at law. The appeal must bring in novel issues or changes with regard to the law.

The appeal at each stage would generally take six to 12 months at each level of appeal. This is dependant on any interlocutory applications that may be made.

Legal costs are incurred at each level of the appeal by both parties. These costs generally follow the event, in that the successful party is entitled to costs spent. There are exceptional circumstances where each party bears its own costs.

Recognition and enforcement

What requirements exist for recognition and enforcement of domestic and foreign awards, what grounds exist for refusing recognition and enforcement, and what is the procedure?

An arbitral award will be recognised in Zambia irrespective of the country in which it granted and will further be enforceable upon application in writing to the High Court of Zambia. The application for registration and enforcement is made by a summons accompanied by an affidavit exhibiting the authenticated original award, the authenticated arbitral agreement (if the award is foreign), and that the award is valid and binding. Security for costs of the application and or any proceedings that may follow may be requested. Further, the applicant will be required to file a notice of registration. This is as per Part 7 of the Arbitration (Court Proceedings) Rules No. 75 of 2001.

A court may refuse recognition or enforcement of an award on the following grounds:

  • at the request of the party against whom it is invoked, if that party furnishes to the competent court where recognition or enforcement is sought proof that:
    • a party to the arbitration agreement was under some incapacity; or the agreement is not valid under the law to which the parties have subjected it or, failing any indication thereon, under the law of the country where the award was made;
    • the party against whom the award is invoked was not given proper notice of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitral proceedings or was otherwise unable to present his or her case;
    • the award deals with a dispute not contemplated by or not falling within the terms of the submission to arbitration, or it contains decisions on matters beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration, provided that, if the decisions on matters submitted to arbitration can be separated from those not so submitted, that part of the award which contains decisions on matters submitted to arbitration may be recognised and enforced;
    • the composition of the arbitral tribunal or the arbitral procedure was not in accordance with the agreement of the parties or, failing such agreement, was not in accordance with the law of the country where the arbitration took place; or
    • the award has not yet become binding on the parties or has been set aside or suspended by a court of the country in which, or under the law of which, that award was made; or
  • if the court finds that:
    • the subject-matter of the dispute is not capable of settlement by arbitration under the law of Zambia;
    • the recognition or enforcement of the award would be contrary to public policy; or
    • the making of the award was induced or effected by fraud, corruption or misrepresentation.
Time limits for enforcement of arbitral awards

Is there a limitation period for the enforcement of arbitral awards?

There is no time limit for the enforcement of an arbitral award.

Enforcement of foreign awards

What is the attitude of domestic courts to the enforcement of foreign awards set aside by the courts at the place of arbitration?

An award that has been set aside by courts at the place of arbitration cannot be registered in Zambia as it is a requirement of registration that the arbitral award should not only be binding on the parties and valid at the place of origin. This is in accordance with section 16 of the Arbitration (Court Proceedings) Rule Statutory Instrument No. 75 of 2001

Enforcement of orders by emergency arbitrators

Does your domestic arbitration legislation, case law or the rules of domestic arbitration institutions provide for the enforcement of orders by emergency arbitrators?

As there is no emergency arbitrator in Zambia, there is no law in this regard.

Cost of enforcement

What costs are incurred in enforcing awards?

In the case of foreign or international awards, there is first a cost of registration of the award and making an application to the court for the execution of the award. An award is generally executed like any court judgment and the costs so incurred are similar. This includes the legal fees related to the execution and registration of the award.

Law stated date

Correct on:

Give the date on which the information above is accurate.

17 November 2020