This article examines the extent of party autonomy in determining the norms that apply to the substance of a commercial dispute in arbitration. Particularly, it analyses ‘principles of law,’ the normative basis for arbitration under Ethiopian law. The article further explores whether parties to the arbitration are at liberty to mandate the application of foreign law, rules of law and equity. It also examines whether a ‘mandate to settle’ is enforceable under Ethiopian law. The article concludes that Ethiopian law allows maximum flexibility to parties as regards to the determination of norms applicable to the substance of a commercial dispute. The law can even be construed as recognising ‘mandate to settle’.
By - Seyoum Yohannes Tesfay