The first SCLR Challenge was held online on Friday, May 28, 2021 and featured more than 30 experts from over 10 countries and regions. The event was supported by Ruggle Partner, KKG, and Chigbu Co law firm. The fourth issue of the Swiss-Chinese Law Review, on the topic of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms, will close for submissions on June 14. Submissions can be made at ac.sclalawreview.org, and the author of this report is Dr. Hermann Knott.
The last Friday of a month is always dedicated to an event organized by SCLA. At the end of May 2021 it was not a Forum, but the three-minute presentation of topic related to ADR with an ensuing brief disucssion. The was very lively and diversified.
After an introduction by Mr. Tianze Zhang about recent activities of SCLA and Mr. Hermann Knott about GIDI, the dispute resolution institute affiliated with GIDI, there were some prelminary discussions relating to mediation, enforcement issues and the choice of evealuative mediation methods in Turkey.
The first topic was presented by Federico Antich: The Rise of Global Standards for Mediation. He advocated for the further development of such standards built e.g. on those of the International Mediation Institute and the Singapore Mediation Institute. The discussion showed a lot of support for this concept. Cultural differences, however, need also to be taken into consideration.
The next presenter was Mrs. Milly Yuk Kwan Hung, a partner of the HK firm Stevenson Wong, who presented results of studies relating to Gender equality. Women push for finalization in difficult situations, and thus can assist in achieving results. Female negotiators also tend to be creative. The discussion following the presentation supported the promotion of gender equality. Initiatives about more female lawyers being appointed to arbitral tribunals is also a development in the right direction. Hermann Knott reported that fort he first time in its history the Court of Arbitration oft he ICC will be female.
The next topic, Are the Prague Rules needed, was presented by Mr. Pawel Sikora. The Prague Rules have been presented in December 2018 by lawyers with a civil law background as a counterpart to the long-standing IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence. They provide for a more active role of the Arbitration Tribunal, thus raising the efficiency and expedited nature of arbitration proceedings. Pawel Sikora presented the thesis that the Prague Rules were not needed as with existing methods a sufficient degree of accelerated resolution can be achieved. Much of the discussion was about the nature and contents of the Prague Rules and the thesis expressed by Mr. Pawel Sikora was not put in doubt.
The next topic was negotiation techniques in mediations, presented by Prof. Yonca Yücel from the Gedik University Law Faculty in Istanbul. She advocated for evaluative methods to find amicable solutions to disputes. The discussion showed support for this approach.
Mrs. Olga Tsiptse, a lawyer from Greece specializing in data protection issues, presented her thesis recommending mediation in maritime disputes. She reported that the level of recognition of mediation was rather low in the maritime sector. She explained that mediation would be appropriate for maritime disputes. The discussion did not question the thesis in ist substance. Hermann Knott referred to the many arbitral institutions existing in this field.
The next topic was about the different level of recognition which ADR receives as a progressive dispute resolution mechanism. Different countries and legal cultures react differently. Mr. KC Hue from KL, Malaysia, reported that e.g. in his country litigation has been by far the most prevalent method.The discussion shows that there is a link to the earlier topic of international standards for mediation as local practices differ substantially.
The next topic related to the Munich rules regarding the participation of third parties presented by one of ist authors, the Munich, Germany, lawyer Karl Wach. The rules are available on WACHNUNDMECKES_TMR_2021_EN.pdf (wachundmeckes.com) and were presented the day of this event one year ago. They deal with the participation of third parties in arbitration proceedings based on the rules of civil
procedures regarding joinder of third parties.
In the discussion Philip Hackett acknowledged them as clear and pragmatic. Hermann Knott referred to the ongoing efforts to establish official rules on this topic at the German Arbitration Institute (DIS).
In the following presentation Mrs. Bolanle Jajara Oniyangi from the Tax Appeal Court in Singapore presented the topic of ADR in tax disputes. In the discussion Hermann Knott praised the choice of the topic and referred to the agreement procedures provided for in many DTAs (Double Taxation Agreements).
The next speaker was Mr. Anil Changeroth, arbitrator from Singapore, who discussed the variance of interpreting ADR as the ‚Appropriate‘ (instead of ‚Alternative‘) form of dispute resolution. The appropriateness of solutions is supported by the creation of new resolution bodies, such as the preventive conflict avoidance board recently established by the CIArb. The discussion confirmed the need of such bodies and methods of conflict resolution.
Mrs. Samantha Mathieu, a lawyer from Germany specialized in IP, presented innovative concepts relating to dealing with costs in ADR. She emphasized the need to budget costs and react promptly when changes occur affecting such costs. The discussion confirmed this aspect and participants emphasized the importance of this topic.
The last presenter was Mr. Stelios Asproftas, a lawyer practicing as a mediator in Cyprus. He emphasized new trends in ADR developed in the face of Covid 19, especially at the level oft he UN and the Bar of Jamaica.
This very inspiring session ended with a summary given by Mr. Hermann Knott followed by concluding and forward-looking remarks.
The SCLA is looking forward to see all these excellent contributions converted into Articles for the SCLA Law Review. The deadline for the submission is June 12, Saturday, with an extension if needed until Monday, June 14, 2021.
Kubas Kos Galkowski(KKG) is a global law firm founded in Poland with a strong reputation in global dispute resolution. KKG was named Dispute Resolution and Arbitration Law Firm of the Year (2019) by the Rzeczpospolita newspaper.
KKG specializes in the following areas: court and arbitration proceedings; Class action; Real estate law (including project finance); Construction engineering agreement; Banking and finance; Company and commercial law; Compliance; Contract law; M&a transactions; Antitrust and bankruptcy laws and corporate restructuring; Administrative law and procedures; And energy law. KKG Law Firm is a law firm of the “Belt and Road” Lawyers Alliance.
Ruggle Partner is a well-known Swiss law firm engaged in legal advice and dispute mediation for multinational companies, with offices in Zurich and Lucerne.
The service of Ruggle Partner is always focused on finding overall solutions to achieve its customers’ economic goals and protect their interests. Ruggle Partner is known for its creativity and commitment. The goal is not only to find legally sustainable answers, but also to find the best commercial solution.