Under the patronage of HE Minister of Justice, Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Graduate School of Business (TAGSB) and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Amman organized today a regional conference entitled “Commercial Arbitration” at TAGSB’s premises.
Deputizing for the Minister of Justice, Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice HE Dr. Mustafa Al Assaf inaugurated the event in the presence of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org), Resident Representative of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung/Amman Office Dr. Martin Beck, TAG-Org Senior Executive Director Mr. Mustafa Nasreddin in addition to a host of experts in legal, commercial and arbitration fields.
In his address, Al Assaf commended the joint efforts of TAG-Org and KAS to enhance integration and relations between Germany and Jordan in the field of qualifying and training related to specialized legal aspects.
“Talal Abu-Ghazaleh organization is one of the pioneer institutions in the auditing and accounting fields in the Arab world that since its inception pledged to provide the best consultancy services to local and international enterprises in accordance with the best known standards.”
“Holding such a conference embodies the efforts exerted to support commercial arbitration and the need to promote legal awareness of this issue on the country level and internationally,” he added.
From his part, Mr. Beck underlined that legal processes and court decision for business disputes can be time consuming, expensive and difficult to access. Arbitration is an alternative and viable legal process providing businesses a channel to resolve commercial disputes outside of a courthouse.
“Jordan’s business community can use arbitrators to facilitate agreements and improve the country’s ever-increasing business environment. There is, however, a need to raise awareness on the use and benefit of it. I believe there is no organization better suited to host such an event as Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization,” he said.
TAG-Org Senior Executive Director Mr. Nasreddin praised the joint cooperation with Konrad Adenauer saying that “this partnership has led to several joint development projects and programs carried out in the Kingdom.”
“This conference is one of these efforts to shed light on commercial arbitration and its role in dispute resolution,” he added.
In his keynote speech on Arbitration in the real world and on the Internet, Abu-Ghazaleh stressed that Arbitration is increasingly becoming the method of choice for resolving dispute in the intentional trade arena; revealing that the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce alone in 2010 for example handled 793 requests for arbitration, concerning 2,145 parties from 140 countries and independent territories.
He added “the role that arbitration plays in encouraging foreign investment and international commercial cooperation cannot be denied; as such dealings cannot be constrained with litigation that may involve burdensome and lengthy procedures.”
Abu-Ghazaleh pointed out that it is the responsibility of Arab and other developing countries, should they wish to sustain and increase their role in the in New World System, to abreast the developed countries on the latest developments happening in international and electronic trade, and the protection of parties, enforcement of intellectual property rights, and availability of alternative dispute resolution methods.
He also tackled E-Arbitration which relies on digital equipment and techniques and is set apart from traditional arbitration by the former's use of modern communication and information technology in implementation of relevant procedures.
“E-Arbitration has in fact gained momentum in a context where WTO has promulgated several conventions encouraging free trade among nations. This trend has led to the rise of such commercial transactions, known as e-commerce and eventually e- contracts which led to an increase in e- arbitration. E-Arbitration is nonetheless performed in the virtual world where no paper documents or material procedures are adopted. Even the decisions are made and signed electronically.”
One of the most efficient bodies in the field of E-Arbitration worldwide is Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP). It uses electronic techniques to refer disputes to arbitrators. Its decisions are binding and it has the authority to cancel registration of a given domain if it rules that the operator of such a domain is not rightful. Since its establishment in 2000, UDRP issued more than 20,000 decisions on over a thousand domains.
Paving the way for application for new top-level domains (gTLDs) in all languages, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) introduced a new method of arbitration called Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Policy (PDDRP) to settle any dispute that may arise in respect of any domain. This technique of arbitration uses the same principles adopted by UDRP.
“This is an opportunity for me here to announce that the Arab Intellectual Property Society (ASIP) has submitted a request with ICANN to recognize ASIP's Arab Centre for Dispute Resolution (ACDR) as a service provider in the field of resolution of disputes arising in relation to domains in the Arab world,” Abu-Ghazaleh said.
On August 5th, 2010, ICAAN's Board of Directors convened and approved the recommendation to circulate the aforementioned proposal for input by the members.
“We are hopeful that this centre will carry out its duties and assignments in service of the region shortly after obtaining a preliminary approval and upon ICAAN's conclusion of the contractual procedures of accredited centers for the last two years. Our centre will be the fifth one accredited for such purposes worldwide. Its location in the Arab region will allow for more focused attention to be given to disputes in this region and in Arabic. This, however, will not exclude the potential of addressing disputes on any domain name in any language as long as we are fortunate enough to have a group of experts known for their competence, honesty and great judgment,” Abu-Ghazaleh concluded.
Some of the main topics to be discussed by legal and commercial experts in addition to arbitrators include the New York Convention of 1958 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, Annulment of Arbitral Awards, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and Investment Arbitration.