The International Bar Association opens its Annual Meeting on Sunday October 30, 2011, in Dubai with an eagerly anticipated address by Nobel laureate Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei. During the week, the IBA Mediation Committee, under the confident leadership of Babak Barin of Montreal, will offer some robust and discriminating panels.
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 hybrid processes where the parties agree either pre- or post-dispute to comb9ne various methods of dispute resolution.
With Jane Player of Bird & Bird, I will be co-moderating a session on the use of ADR in the management and control of costs. The panelists will address the question: What can lawyers do to help clients manage the inevitable dispute process and are there ways to give better transparency to the process and to the costs throughout? Mediation plays a role in this; is it in reality a complementary process alongside the more traditional litigation and arbitration processes, or still an “add-on” at the end?
The Mediation Techniques Subcommittee has in the past brought on some unforgettable sessions at the IBA meetings and this year looks to be no exception. The title of the session is: “The art of mediation — what skills are needed to effectively mediate and how to obtain them.” Three hours ought to be enough to cover the waterfront on that, right? Even the Dubai waterfront?
Investor-state mediation has developed considerable momentum in recent years, and will be the topic of another session. The existing legal infrastructure on the topic is considered by many to be dated. The State Mediation Subcommitee’s past work has identified a number of ways in which investor-state mediation can be improved and promoted. One of these is through rules for mediation specifically adapted to this context. A draft set of such rules will be presented for evaluation and critique.
The Arbitration Committee, Co-Chaired by Mark W. Friedman and Judith Gill, is presenting 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.
I hope to provide reports on these and other IBA events during the first half of November.