The Weinstein International Fellowship program is an opportunity for fellows from around the world to come to the United States to pursue a project of their own design that serves to advance dispute resolution in their home countries. This year, 13 men and women from across the globe were granted fellowships to come to the U.S. and study ADR.
We asked each of the fellows some questions to learn more about their past experience and their future goals. Following is an exchange with one of our Chinese Fellows Guang “Dawn” Chen.
Tell us about yourself and how you became involved in ADR.
I’m an arbitrator with the Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC) and the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission. After participating in a training course through a partnership with Pepperdine Law School and the BAC, I became a certified mediator and have been doing ADR work for more than five years.
What sort of involvement has ADR had in your country?
ADR has grown in popularity in China as more companies and people choose arbitration or mediation to resolve their problems due to overcrowded courts, cost, time and uncertainty of case results. The People’s Supreme Court of People’s Republic of China has also issued several advisory opinions to emphasize and encourage parties to use ADR.
Additionally, the implementation of a new mediation law on January 1, 2011 also means that ADR will play a crucial role in conflict prevention and resolution.
What do you plan to do while you’re in the United States and when you return home?
While in the United States, I plan to shadow cases and volunteer my services for small-claims disputes. I will also attend the Program on Negotiation at Harvard. After returning to China, I want to promote ADR education and training in Chinese universities, as well as establish a mediation center. The center would serve as a court-appointed mediation option and provide professional training to those interested in doing mediation.
Ms. Chen will be based in Los Angeles and Boston through December 2011.