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Conference Report




Training Course Report of Stage I: The first stage of the International Commercial Arbitration Training Course was held on 7th-10th November 2006 on the 13th floor of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The course was devised and developed by the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) in association with King’s College London, in light of the increasing use of arbitration for resolving disputes in international business and economic transactions. The course was designed to provide an introduction to commercial arbitration for issues under international settings, as well as techniques for handling such cases.

The first stage of the course outlined the basics of arbitration and other forms of ADR. The purpose of this part of the course was to expose the participants to the arena of international commercial arbitration and guide them into discovering themselves as effective arbitrators or expert witnesses in international transactions. The course allowed them to also meet and interact with actual professionals from various fields and jurisdictions and to talk about their experiences and dealings.

The second stage of the course, which is scheduled form 27 – 29 April 2007, will be more in-depth by developing into specific topics and examining case studies from particular sectors and regions. Both courses are ideally constructed for lawyers, government officials, officers of judicial and legal training units, oil and banking institutions, and any other professionals who could meet the entry requirements. Ultimately, the objectives of the course are:

  1. to familiarize the participants with the “modern” practices and principles for international commercial arbitration
  2. to help transform them into individuals who can acquire the particular skills and thereby readily assume positions of neutrals in arbitration proceedings, or alternatively, into advocates for parties engaged in arbitration
  3. to provide a deeper understanding of the laws, by-laws and ethics of arbitration

The course is taught by lecturers from King’s College along with ADR professionals from DIAC Board of Trustees. The first stage consisted of four all-day lectures and interactive workshops. The conclusion of this stage coincided with the fourth meeting of the DIAC Board of Trustees, which was held on 11th-12th November 2006. Dr. Hussam Al-Talhuni, Director of DIAC, inaugurated the program with an opening speech. He praised the organizers’ efforts and wished the participants a pleasant and productive training course. Professor Phillip Capper from King’s College outlined the structure of the program and explained the purpose of each segment of the course.

In all, the program presents nine lecturers, all of them highly acclaimed professionals in the field of arbitration and ADR:

  • Professor Martin Hunter (Chairman of DIAC Board of Trustees)
  • Professor Phillip Capper (King’s College London)
  • Associate Professor Lawrence Boo (National University of Singapore)
  • Dr. Nael Bunni (Chairman of DIAC Executive Committee)
  • Dr. Hadif AL Owais (Vice-Chairman of DIAC Executive Committee)
  • Dr. Hussam Al-Talhuni ( Director of Dubai International Arbitration Centre)

Although admission to the program is open to all, participants needed to have at least a relevant university degree or professional qualification, two years of relevant work experience and a very high proficiency in English. The lectures taught in the first stage were:

  • Nature and limits of arbitration and its treatment by various legal systems
  • Arbitration distinguished from other forms of dispute resolution
  • The laws applicable in international commercial arbitration
  • Key features of enforceability: the New York Convention
  • International arbitration distinguished from domestic arbitration and state court litigation
  • Arbitrability
  • Privilege, privacy, loyalty, confidentiality and secrecy
  • The UNCITRAL Model Law and national arbitration laws
  • Institutional and ad hoc arbitration
  • The arbitration agreement
  • Commencement of the arbitration
  • Appointment of arbitrator(s)
  • Procedures for the arbitration
  • Arbitration in the GCC
  • The role of state courts in support of the arbitral process

At the end of the first stage, the course participants were invited to the Annual DIAC Membership Gala Dinner, held at Fort Island in Madinat Jumeirah, an event that celebrates DIAC’s achievements throughout the year and to further welcome new members. This prestigious event was attended by several leaders, prominent figures and members of the press from all over the UAE. All in all, the first stage of the course was a resounding success and DIAC eagerly looks forward to not only the second stage of the course but to having the course regularly in years to come with the hope that more and more prospects will notice the great dearth of knowledge and experience the course has to offer and thus use it as a platform for developing themselves into professional arbitrators and advocates themselves.

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