The International Bar Association kicked off its Annual Meeting on Sunday, Oct. 30 in Dubai with an address by Nobel laureate Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei. Throughout this week, the IBA Mediation Committee, under the leadership of Babak Barin of Montreal, will offer some interesting panels.
Along with the IBA Arbitration Committee, a joint panel will address the strategic use of mediation-type processes in the course of an arbitral proceeding. Leading arbitration counsel, international arbitrators and mediators from around the world will review the challenges and opportunities raised by processes where the parties agree either pre- or post-dispute to combine various methods of dispute resolution.
The Mediation Techniques Subcommittee will discuss “The art of mediation — what skills are needed to effectively mediate and how to obtain them.”
Investor-state mediation will be the topic of another session. The existing legal infrastructure on the topic is considered by many to be out-dated. The State Mediation Subcommittee’s has identified ways in which investor-state mediation can be improved and promoted and a draft set of rules will be presented for evaluation and critique.
Additionally, Lorraine Brennan, director of JAMS International and president of Arbitral Women, will lead a panel on November 2 on “International Commercial Arbitration in Times of Rapid Political Change.” Panelists include Mireille Bouzols Breton, former Senior Legal VP of Technip, Judge and Arbitrator; Fiona Campbell, Senior Associate, Special Projects & Dispute Resolution, Al Tamimi & Company and Nayla Comair-Obeid, Arbitrator and Managing Partner, Obeid Law Firm.
The Arbitration Committee, co-chaired by Mark W. Friedman and Judith Gill, will also present sessions on hot topics in international arbitration; review of investment arbitration awards; winning damages and other remedies in international arbitration; and perspectives from providers and users on arbitration institutions in the Middle East and Asia.
The ADR Section of the Michigan State Bar celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and announced it will mark this milestone with a state-wide public education campaign, Michigan Mediates!
The goal of Michigan Mediates! is to elevate awareness and use of mediation as a practical and cost-effective tool to help solve many of the complex problems plaguing its government agencies, schools and communities.
The section earned accolades from Governor Rick Snyder, who said “I commend the State Bar ADR Section for initiating this program. Our government agencies can benefit from applying mediation, facilitation, and other forms of dispute resolution as tools to resolve conflicts and save taxpayer money. When this happens, everyone benefits.”
To learn more about the program, click here.
Ghana held a press conference on October 24, its annual UN Day, to announce its support of peaceful resolution through mediation. Coming off the heels of the recent UN resolution to make the most of mediation to peacefully resolve disputes, Ghana also called on other member countries to make the most out of this opportunity and “to reflect and deliberate on issues affecting humanity.
Noting the “untapped potential” of mediation, the UN resolution, drafted as a joint effort by groups in Finland and Turkey, encourages countries to optimize their use of mediation and other tools outlined in Chapter VI of the UN Charter for the peaceful settlement of disputes as well as conflict prevention and resolution. The text, adopted unanimously without a vote, is the first resolution on the use of mediation ever passed by the United Nations.
The General Assembly resolution marks mediation’s rise to prominence on the international stage and lays a foundation for its expanded use in peacefully resolving conflict.
In addition to calling generally for the use of mediation in resolving conflict, the General Assembly text specifically encouraged member states to “promote women’s equal, full and effective participation” as lead mediators and to “develop national mediation capacities in order to ensure coherence and responsiveness.” This emphasis on geographic diversity as well as the role of women is seen as crucial to the success of mediation as a universal tool for peace.
The ultimate test of the General Assembly’s resolution will be the real-world impact of the principles laid out in the text. The international ADR community can do its part by engaging in projects that help foster the use of mediation to resolve conflict. By showing leadership and lending our skills, we can turn the spirit of this important UN resolution into action
If you would like to read a more in-depth version of this article, please click here.