The importance of forum selection clauses in maritime disputes cannot be overemphasized. Amongst other things, they help to ensure certainty, predictability and orderliness which are indispensable to maritime and international trade agreements. It has therefore become commonplace for parties to maritime and international trade agreements to insert clauses stating the court of the Country where they want any possible dispute that might arise, settled. Thus, no other Court, (apart from the Court of the country specified) has the jurisdiction to entertain the matter. Unfortunately, parties still sometimes refer disputes arising from such maritime contracts to the Forum Courts in breach of the clause. This article is an attempt to analyse the approach of the Nigerian Courts in light of the Forum Selection and Foreign Arbitration Debate as well as the current position of the Nigerian Jurisdiction in light of Section 20 of the Admiralty Jurisdiction Act.
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