Discussion addresses benefits of mediation over adversarial dispute resolution
The growing importance of mediation to resolve disputes was discussed at a webinar organized on May 31, by the College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre (QICDRC).
Mediation enables disputing parties to select a neutral mediator to help them settle their differences. The webinar considered Qatar’s mediation environment, particularly in the aftermath of Qatar’s ratification of the Singapore Convention on Mediation and the QICDRC’s recent adoption of Mediation Rules. The event offered a perspective from both academia and legal practice, with the QICDRC represented by Judge Edwin Glasgow CBE, QC, who is also a mediator, and registrar, Christopher Grout. The College of Law’s Dean Susan L. Karamanian and Dr. Zachary Calo, Professor, weighed in with their expertise and insights into both judicial and alternative forms of dispute resolution.
Pointing to the role of mediation in several contentious areas, the panel of prominent legal experts considered the advantages of mediation over more adversarial processes such as litigation and arbitration. Specifically, mediation enables the parties to preserve their relationship while resolving their differences in private, quickly and with lower costs.
Launched in 2020, the QICDRC Mediation Rules facilitate mediation by, for example, establishing ways for parties to agree to mediate, setting forth standards for the appointment of the mediator, and enabling confidentiality of the mediation.
The speakers leveraged their experience to reflect on mediation in Qatar’s commercial environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. In turn, the discussions highlighted the QICDRC's ability to operate virtually as an important attribute, particularly for arbitration and mediation.
Speaking after the webinar, Susan L. Karamanian, Dean, HBKU College of Law, said: “With commercial activity invariably comes differences. Qatar is taking the lead in the region to promote mediation. Our discussion underscored the College of Law’s commitment to effective and efficient dispute resolution, with mediation in accordance with international best practices being an important element. Our ongoing cooperation with one of the key bodies in Qatar’s judicial sector, the QICDRC, enables us to continue to promote knowledge and hands-on legal education and training.”
Christopher Grout, Registrar of the QICDRC, expanded on the importance of mediation to Qatar: “What we know from experience in other countries around the world is that mediation plays a vital role in resolving disputes such that recourse to more formal methods of dispute resolution, whether through arbitration or litigation, becomes unnecessary. This is to be welcomed and encouraged as it benefits all concerned, which is why the QICDRC launched its Mediation Service in 2020. For the reasons explored during the webinar, I wholeheartedly encourage parties to disputes to consider mediating rather than running straight to the courts.”
To learn more about the College of Law, its activities, and events, visit cl.hbku.edu.qa.