“Arbitration and Mediation in Saudi Arabia & MENA Region Webinar" - By ArbDB Chambers & SCCA”
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“Arbitration and Mediation in Saudi Arabia & MENA Region Webinar" - By ArbDB Chambers & SCCA”
Guest Speakers: Dr. Hamed Merah, Mr. Robert Sliwinski, Mr. James Macpherson and Mr. John Wright
Chair: Michael Cover
“These transcripts have been automatically created. We apologise for any errors and will correct names etc. if we are alerted to them”
Good afternoon, everybody. And welcome to this joint webinar between the Saudi Centre for commercial arbitration and RTB chambers. And we're tackling arbitration and mediation in Saudi Arabia and the wider MENA region. My name is Michael Cobra, I'm a member of our DB chambers and a full time third party neutral. And it is my privilege to be the moderator. For today's session, we have a number of contributors, and then after they have each had their say, we will move to a panel discussion, and we can use the chat facility to make this as interactive as possible. I also should say that we are recording this session. So it will be possible to pick this up from your usual kind of podcast places. We also have a poll facility and during the course of the webinar, which will we will take the time to enter, which we will use to ask three questions with yes and no answers. So if you use the appropriate buttons, then we will get a view on the questions. I should add that it will not have escaped people to notice that there's a lot going on in the geopolitics and economy of the region. And that may well be something we can focus on in a further session in a few weeks. But we're just going to tackle the subject of arbitration and mediation in Saudi Arabia and the MENA region. So I think that's probably quite enough for me, I should I should add that it's my privilege to be a panel arbitrator and mediator on the SCCA panels. So I'd like to start now by introducing Dr. Hamad Mira, who's the CEO of the SCCA. He's a doctor had a distinguished career before in the banking and insurance industry and is a recognised leader, an expert in the Atlanta economy and finance areas. He has both an MSc and a PhD from one of the finest universities and Riyadh. And he's going to kick this webinar off. So perhaps if I may, I'll hand over to you, Dr. Hamad. And you're very welcome. And thank you for agreeing to participate in this webinar. So over to you.
Thank you very much. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening, all around the world. Ladies and gentlemen, it's a great pleasure, for me personally, and for SCCA, to co organise this webinar today with our DB and to speak about this really important topic today. Just to invest the time, I'm trying my best just to be as fast as I can. And I'm gonna present today, under the title Saudi Arabia is ADR friendly jurisdiction. If you allow me, I would like to share my slides. I hope it's clear now for with all of you. Gregg, is the slides there. Hello. Yes there. Dr. Hamad? Yeah, great.
As As you may know, for any jurisdiction to be friendly jurisdiction to ADR, there is a lot of aspects and a lot of support needed. But I can summarise that in three main categories. First of all the legislative support when the governmental support the judicial support, and these three areas will be the first three topics I'm going to cover in my presentation. And finally, I will give just very quick background about a CCA some numbers. That might be an interest. If you allow me to start with the first topic about the legislative support. I don't know if a lot of you knows that. The arbitration is practised in Saudi for the last 70 years. But I can't say at the same time 2012 was the golden year, and that he was the first of the the change and so the in terms of arbitration in particular, and in in ADR, generally speaking, in that year, the new arbitration law and the Ultimate law has been issued and in the coming slide I will shed light about some areas to to these two important laws. And in 2014, the first institutional ADR Centre in Saudi Arabia has been established by a cabinet decree, ie the Centre for commercial arbitration has been established at that year. If you allow me to move now just to sit lie about some areas related to the new arbitration law and enforcement law in Saudi Arabia, the most important information I have to highlight here is the Saudi the new Saudi arbitration law is based on a sutra with the law. And I think all of you are familiar with the term modal law. And if you are familiar with Toronto, modal law, you will know that usually in the unistorm with the law, and also the laws based on that law, include a lot of areas related to the courts of law, such as appointing arbitrator and three major witnesses as as a subpoena, in addition to that the enforceable arbitral Award. So in the new new arbitration law in Saudi The award is final, it's not appealable, and also very limited time for challenges, 60 days, and with very limited areas. And also, it was very clear in the new Saudi arbitration law about the party's autonomy to select, for example, the applicable law, institutional rules, language venue, arbitrator without any restrictions in terms of religion, gender, nationality, etc. So just very quickly, these some of the areas related or I wanted, just to highlight about the new arbitration law in Saudi again, it was issued in 2012. What about the enforcement law also, I think it was a quantum leap in Saudi Arabia and for for the arbitration in particular. First of all, moving from the administrative the board of grievance to the enforcement courts, specialised court. And also within that code, there is a specialised chambers, and with special judges with the special education and training to deal with the enforcement of the arbitral Award in terms of local or international, this, I think, is one of the most important elements and also empowering the the enforcement of the arbitral Award and make it easy, straightforward, effective, and that has been translated into numbers that I will show I will share with you in the coming slides. And also one of the things that I would like to highlight considering the arbitral Award as enforcement title or executive bonds, as some translation. So these areas just will show an example of the importance of the new arbitration law and enforcement law after the 2019. Another another resolution has been issued by the Council of minister to approve stca statute and I think there is a lot of details related to that, but what I want to highlight in few seconds, it has been
this new stack is supported the independence of SSA, the independence of SSA, from the government. So SSA is not related. NET reported net net burned of any governmental entities. And one of the examples of that it was a condition, it is a condition for all the the chairman of the board, and also all the members to be in it from the government. And we witness some example, for example, the current Minister of Finance, he used to be the first chairman of sec a board. As soon as he was appointed in governmental position. He left his ACA and another and also the current minister of housing the current some other ministers, they were in the first and second term, and as soon as they were appointed in governmental position, then they refused to say to make SSA independent from the government and at the same time independent from the private sector. And also, the the standard we see it CCA mentioned clearly it's not for profit of a for profit organisation, and also empowering the board. So the ultimate authority of SSA if it's sport, and also I would like to mention there is no restriction of appointing Saudi or non Saudi, there is no restriction in terms of nationality, again, gender religion to be bought or to be a member of the CCA board. The only restriction none, none of the board member and the chairman has a Yeah, they can be a governmental figure. Also in 2019, I don't know a lot of expert they know if they are interested in thoroughly and they know our laws, the regulations 30 the governmental agencies for decades. They were banned from settling their disputes through arbitration unless they grant a special approval from the cabinet in 2019 in January 2019 royal decree has been issued to encourage governmental agencies and state owned companies to settle their disputes visually with foreign investor through arbitration.
And few months after that, in August 2019, the new Saudi government tender and brookview procurement role has been issued, and the quantum leap in that law. In an article number 92. Let me read the exact words of that article. The government authority after seeking and securing approval of the Minister of Finance may agree to arbitration as indicated by the implementing implementing regulations, and also the implementing regulations. As you can see in article number 154, it gives a lot of details to that and make it straightforward, easy, and, and you will see in coming slides another step further to support ADR and arbitration in particular, in the governmental contracts. And as you can see the code from the Minister of Finance himself when he was speaking in Soca International Conference in 2018. He mentioned cleverly that this law and the implementing regulation is supporting the governmental agencies to use arbitration and in settling their dispute. And you will see a further step has been taken by the Ministry of Finance and the Minister of Finance himself. Again, in the same year in 2019, before in the in the fourth quarter, the new franchise law has been issued, and also is supporting arbitration mediation, ADR in general. And also, as you can see the exact wording of the article number 25. It's very reasonable for a group to agree to settle disputes that arise from the franchise agreement or the application of this law by alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration, Mediation and Conciliation. A lot of examine, I counted more than six laws or regulations or royal decrees has been issued in 2019. Only all of that laws or regulations are royal decrees, with the same reason to support ADR and institution arbitration in particular, let me move very quickly, because I would like to invest the time to the government governmental support, there is a lot of examples, I will not be able to because of the time to cover all of that examples. But just me, let me just choose one or two examples. The first example is the Minister of commerce, they have in their website, what they call it contracts in different areas, such as establishing a company joins the company, a lot of modern contracts, they change out of that contract the middle clause in that contract to sec a clause. So this is one of the examples, different examples, you can see it and also later, we can
give you a copy of this presentation. Let me now go to the most important example, that I would like to mention. Just few weeks after the the the the new, the implementing regulations, the Minister of Finance, he authorised the circulation of 14 standard government contracts, that all of these contracts the all of these unified contract for the government, or of that contract, sec, a model clause is the default and the the default clause in that contract. Yes, the parties they can agree on any other institution, but it's a great it's a it's a great achievement to make the modem clause in all of these government contracts that are associated with the clause. Another example, maybe my colleagues will come out some something related to that. I think one of the most important you know, change and milestone in our industry globally is the the Singapore convention, we are brown. That is sir od is the one of the founding signatories for Singapore convention, somebody signed the convention in last August and in Singapore, and also so it is the fourth country to ratify the convention. And I think there is a lot of implication. Related to that. And this only it's an indicator from the Saudi government, about the support of ADR, there is a lot of example, but because of the time I will stop here. Let me go very quickly to cover the third, the third topic about the judicial support. That could be illustrated in two main areas, the enforcement and adapt it will come in the upcoming slide. And he has some example for example, referring mediation cases from the commercial court to SCCA to be settled and managed under ssaa rules. Also, the commission Call law state has been issued just few weeks ago, state for mandatory referrals of cases to Mediation and Conciliation. Another example, is this a nominate arbitrator to the appeal court for real for ad hoc cases. A lot of examples, what what, for example, also Is this a developed and conducted some workshop with the related judges in the enforcement court, and also in the appeal court to in that workshops, we get international judges and international experts to meet the 30 judges, and they discuss about the, you know, the new and the latest practices in that regard. Finally, one of the things I'm proud of, I'm happy with that the Minister of Justice, they are announcing that from time to time, numbers related to enforcement, especially about the enforcement of the foreign arbitral Awards, and as you can see here, some examples, this is just I choose randomly some of the example about sometimes the Minister of Justice, they choose some big cases, and they specify cases from different countries all around the world, ad hoc or institutional, and they mention some
details related to that. Sometimes they mentioned institutions, sometimes they mentioned the country. But I encourage all of you if you are interested, or the Saudi market, just to follow the the official website of the Minister of Justice to to follow up some numbers later the enforcement of the arbitral Awards. Finally, I don't want to take more time just I will shed light in few minutes about SSA. ssa as I mentioned, is the first institutional at our centre in Saudi we are independent, we are we are International Centre, we are international in terms of our staff, in terms of our roster, in terms of our cases, and you will see exam ssca only less than four years old centre, and we are proud to say a 40 years old centre or less than 40 years old centre, we we could register 91 cases in terms of these cases, arbitration mediation limited services. And as you can say, we are international so the parties of these cases, Saudi parties, Saudis, and also parties from as you can see the flags here from the US from UK, Germany, France, China, different countries all around the world. In addition to that, the diversity not only about you know, the type of cases not only about the parties, nationalities, also the industries, the biggest bulk of our cases was construction, and we know how important construction for for MENA region and GCC countries in particular, but you can see a variety of you know, industries such as banking, capital market, medical, entertainment, aviation, all of these industries, in only in 40 years, we could register 91 cases, distributed among all of these industries. Our roster. Today we have in the speakers we are brought up to have some of them in our roster. As you can see the number 111 280 arbitrators and mediators, two thirds of them more than two thirds of them nine sororities, or around two thirds of them non sororities. They are from 23 nationalities in more than 15 fields such as oil and gas, energy banking, Islamic banking, a lot of industries, and also they are speaking more than 11 languages. Again, I'm about to move to another aspect as I mentioned, we are international we are we are trying from day one to be within the best practices globally. Because of that we around a year ago, is this a launch its Advisory Committee, and as you can see rockstars from all around the world, 14 experts, some of them judges, professors will known arbitrators. They are from 11 countries all around the world.
So nobody is for example, we have judge Apple as his as a judge. So the judge and also we have well known lawyer terrified Mohammed he is a partner with with Clifford chance. And we have we known lawyers, they are advising SCCA and for example now we started since last October to to to review our arbitration rules and they have started to support us and also they supported us also in the EMP, I will talk about it later. But this is one of the things to show you the vision of SSC a and the standard of SSA. Again, also, just few weeks ago, we and we announced officially the establishment of the SSA committee For administrative decisions, and as you can see, clearly their role is it's like a mini court in SSA, three well known figures and all of them as you can notice, they used to work in weighing on international ADR centres, Cairo centre and ICC and also triple AI. So they are now they are in the SSA committee for administrative decision, their role mainly to to take decision about the challenges right the arbitrator challenges dispute to send in place of arbitration, a number of arbitrators. I don't want I know, I know that I talk more than I'm supposed to take. But finally, it's the CIA within a few weeks, we announce a new programme to deal with the pandemic, we know the disruption has been
the industry and all around the world is facing after the epidemic. So we announced the what we call the COVID-19 emergency mediation programme EMP. And this In brief, is we we had you know, you can say discounted fee schedule for the EMP. And also it's virtually 100% in addition to that, the most important element the settlement after that the if the parties would reach a settlement after the mediation in coordination and coordination with the Minister of Justice and conservation centre, this settlement could be converted into enforcement bond and I think this will will illustrate or translate the spirit of Singapore convention into an institutional level and also in a local level. A lot of details we have a dedicated website about the EMP a lot of materials, legal material, marketing material, and also materials for awareness in different ways like infographics, motion graphs, videos, a lot of good materials, I encourage all of you to to visit the EMP special page or special loot site. I will stop here by thank by thank all of you. And if there is questions, I will be more than happy to discuss and to cover during the discussion time. Thank you. Okay.
Thank you, Dr. Hamad a great tour de force and actually, I don't think you've overshot on time at all that was perfect and really set the scene very well. Okay, well, We'll now move on to to bring in Robert Sliwinski Robert Sliwinski is a quantity surveyor and barrister is a colleague of mine colleague wells and IDB chambers. He's a fellow of the Chartered Institute of arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator. He's also on the fidic president's panel of presidents list of international adjudicators. So go with dispute boards, and he's experienced in construction and other areas. And he accepts his appointment as arbitrator mediator, adjudicator expert determinant and DB member. And he's going to talk about the disputes in in the region. And also some stuff about family business disputes, and perhaps touch on dispute board. So Robert, the floor is yours.
Thank you very much. Yes, and thank you, I'm, it's actually a privilege and honour to be asked to talk in this webinar. I am actually on the role of the SEC is as well, which is also a great honour. And I work out Law Office elsewhere in Dubai, and I've been here for the last two and a half years or so. So I'm beginning to get some idea of the dispute process within the GCC region. So what I thought I'd do is, is just talk through some of the issues as I see them within the GCC region. What is clear to me is that dispute resolution is multifaceted. When you take into account the installation heuristic jurisdictions that we have in the GCC region, and a significant number of family owned businesses. Now, I find slightly unusual to what I have found in the West, if I can put it that way, where family owned businesses take up approximately 60% of the GDP of the area and employs something like 80% of the workforce. So it's actually a very powerful part of the economy in the GCC. When I say family run businesses, of course, I don't just mean small family run businesses of a half a dozen people also believe encompasses family run businesses that employ 1000s of people. And this is reflective of the businesses within the region. Why is it multifaceted? Well, of course, the GCC is predominantly a civil law jurisdiction. So predominantly, because certainly here in the UAE, we have the DFC courts, and the atgm courts, Abu Dhabi, where common law is the jurisdiction. So we have a mixed civil law and common law. And this is quite important. Because it allows, certainly, under the of the RFC, and agj, adgm areas, a choice of jurisdiction in your contracts. And, of course, a choice of venue for having your disputes dealt with. You may prefer the common law procedure, there may be reasons why the adoption of the common law jurisdictions and laws are preferable to the on. The on, on on land, if I put it that way, jurisdictions of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi and and other areas, you do need to make sure of course, that wherever you're contracting, you can in fact, make that choice. If that's available to you. Certainly it is in the UAE. Why would you want to make that choice? Well, of course, that is down to the type of work, you maybe carry out the people you're contracting with. Maybe it's International, maybe it's domestic, I actually based in the do FC area or the atgm area, that may actually mean that you actually have to be within those jurisdictions. But moving on the dispute resolution arena within the GCC region, has actually been building I would say, for some time, as Dr. Hamad has made quite clear, the Saudi ADR practices and the certainly the SCCA is relatively young, but they are moving at pace, it's quite clear that the judiciary in Saudi supports arbitration and mediation, and that's very healthy, it seems to me and the judiciary have come to recognise within the GCC region, and by that time, including Bahrain, as well as the UAE and Qatar, that arbitration and mediation perhaps to a lesser extent, is an important way to resolve disputes. And it takes the pressure off the court system as well. Yes, we are talking about, perhaps Initially, the more technical based types of disputes such as my own area of construction and engineering, but it can go much further than that.
You find in the GCC region, that family disputes, labour disputes, and not only are dealt with within the court system, but also their ADR is also used in trying to resolve those disputes. And again, to me, that seems to be a healthy and sensible way forward. However, certainly, labour disputes still tend to be dealt with by the courts. But it's interesting that the specialist courts, and certainly again, in the UAE, we have something called the rental Dispute Settlement centre, to deal with landlord and tenant disputes. And that is, again, utilising a form of ADR is actually a form of mediation before you get involved in litigation itself, and again, that's much better for the parties and helps resolve matters without a long drawn out, tedious process. So I can only say that, from my own experience, that ADR in the region is certainly moving forward at some pace, it's certainly being supported by the court system. The court system itself is recognising that needs specialisations. are bigger that onshore in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, for example, or within the Free Zones such as to fight DFC and the adgm. will certainly issues remain without a doubt. jurisdictional challenges are constantly seen within the GCC region. And it seems to me that respondents defendants in use such yourself just remember that sorry, jurisdictional challenges to try and delay matters and try and drag the inevitable out. Perhaps One of the ones that's common here, but less common in the UK where I'm from. In fact, I say less common, it's not seen in UK at all, is the sort of jurisdictional challenge about was the person who entered into the arbitration agreements authorised to do so you may have been authorised to enter into the contract. But were you specifically authorised to enter into arbitration agreements, you have to have a specific authority to do so. It's within the memorandum of association of the company, or by some sort of board resolution. And that's something which is not normally seen, certainly in the West, those sorts of jurisdictional challenges seems to me are unhelpful. Are they really necessary? It's not a mess for you to tell. The government's hear their business. But it does seem to me that that's something that should be looked at are those types of challenge, sensible, helpful and unnecessary within the region? So moving on, to slightly more specific in my area of construction, infrastructure engineering, we've had disputes, many, many disputes over the last decades, because of course, construction, and engineering have been a predominant area of business and work within the area is being expanding to a very large extent. I mean, indeed, despite the economic problems that we face in in the GCC region, I mean, we'd have since 2008. So I guess there are some lots of work going on, there's still a lot of money being spent within these regions, and we're still expanding. Business is expanding, therefore, construction infrastructure expands as well. However, I'm turning away from dispute resolution itself just for a moment. One of the reasons for many of these disputes, it does seem to me, a lot of it comes down to the contracts that are used in the region, we're still using older versions of standard contracts, for example, the fidic contracts, I see many, many vote contracts based on the pre 1999 suite of contracts,
let alone 2017. So we really ought to be encouraging the parties to use more opposite eight contracts be more contractually aware. Many disputes, of course, revolve inevitably about non payment. And here, unlike, again, the UK pay when paid clauses are perfectly legitimate. That's okay. But when you're entering into a contract, certainly as a subcontractor, or you're aware that's sitting in your contract, are you aware of the repercussions of if the employee doesn't pay the contractor? You won't be paid? Should the subcontractor take the burden of the projects in financing projects, when he's perhaps the least able to do so. These are matters I feel that could be looked at to try and help avoid disputes in the first place. dispute avoidance is something we should be considering. It shouldn't be just all about arbitration at the end of the project. By then the time which has occurred, we ought to be trying to really help the parties to avoid disputes in the first place. Yes, of course, disputes will occur in any event. This is also clear, where you see a larger level of smaller companies entering into the arena. Some of the very big international construction engineering companies have pulled back from the region, allowing smaller, medium sized companies to come in. But do they? Are they aware of the risks? Are they aware of the contractual risks that they're undertaking, by working these regions, with the laws and the contracts as are presented to them? They need to be is educated the right word, or more aware anyway, of their rights, and perhaps that they should be negotiating with a bit more strength with the contractors and the employers, especially if their specialisation is something that's needed? And is perhaps not readily available from another source? Robert, could I give you maybe just a minute or two, and then we'll move on to rapidly want to be there. No, that's right. Carry on. Okay, so these messages needs to be to be dealt with. I did say I deal with family run businesses a little bit as well as mentioned earlier. They are a very large part of the economy here. And the disputes In family businesses, we're looking in the business itself rather than disputes with other companies. Because of course, it's not just about money progress, so on and so forth. Issues of status, pride succession, overreach within family businesses. In it overreaches the issues of profits, control and management, it becomes a matter of members of the family feeling they should be more involved in the business or feel they're being cut out of the business as it evolves, changes, succession occurs. We need sensitive dispute resolution to deal with these matters. These don't need the blunderbuss of arbitration. This is where Mediation and Conciliation it seems to be coming to the fore and should be used. So we need to try and promote Mediation and Conciliation to family businesses as a way of dealing with their internal problems. It's very difficult for families to open up to an individual, an outside individual, but that may be the best way of resolving their issues. And it's not about winner taking all either with businesses is finding a way of them settling whatever their issues are moving forward and being successful. Other areas of ADR that we should be looking at new, neutral evaluation, mediation, consideration, of course, dispute boards, which is obviously something that's close to my heart, which involves a large sector of dispute avoidance that we shouldn't be getting as a having to deal with adjudication, within dispute boards, but we should be working with the parties to resolve the differences before they blow up into a dispute. So Michael, I hope that brings me neatly to the end of my time, and I'd be happy, I'd be happy to rattle on in much more detail, but to any questions. We'll be there at the end. Thank you very much.
Okay. Thank you, Robert. And we've got two polls so far. I'll give the result of the first one. The question was, do you expect an increase in need ADR in GCC in? 2021 98%? said yes. So that's very encouraging for all that we're talking about. So So James, Marbury and Joseph person. Now James, and I keep on misspelling his name, which is very unfortunate. He's James McPherson with an ma si. And he's an international expert in ADR is special counsel at the Saudi Centre for commercial arbitration. He works internationally as an ADR specialist, and is a veteran mediator. And it's a deep knowledge of the region. He was the inaugural CEO of the bark, rain chamber dispute resolution, and also an inaugural member of the board of the Oman arbitration centre and has been working in the region across the region EMEA in Mena since 2008. So we're delighted to be welcoming James. So over to you. So I guess you've got about 12 minutes or so.
How are we doing on that slide? And does it advance when I press events? It does. Yes. Excellent. Thank you so much. And greetings to all of our colleagues around the world, obviously, Dr. Hammonds outline how much Saudi Arabia has been transformed since the setup and development and ongoing, progressively impressive work of the Saudi Centre for commercial arbitration. And then, of course, we heard from our brother Robert, in Dubai. And we all know that what's been going on in Dubai has also been very substantial and impressive with the uptake of all sorts of ADR. But I want to talk about how this has impacted the region and how it is actually helping people to navigate the whole COVID era. Briefly, I'm just going to talk about I'm going to touch on ADR globally, the legal profession, and then speak about three elements within the region, specifically arbitration, ADR centres and mediation. Because as Robert said, it's definitely something that has great scope, and applicability for those that we all serve in the region. Right now what we're dealing with, there was a Gar live event, very recently, in which an Australian and Singapore practitioner made this comment the appetite to pursue disputes these times seems as great as ever, but parties were investigating the prospects for successful enforcement more fully before commencing arbitration during any particular transition economically, there's always a push for managing disputes, but I think this particular challenge has been excessively novel and has been very hard for people to predict how and when it's going to play out but I think Within this, ADR is going to be particularly important. And specifically, a lot of the people in this call our legal practitioners are those dealing with managing litigation risk. And an interesting observation has been made the UK and in other jurisdictions, and this example is the Canadian one, that after a lengthy disruption of activities, this can also compromise the financial circumstances of the applicants, which was alluded to in my previous slide, but also the viability of law firms themselves. And this includes smaller firms and sole practitioners, which any of you who worked in the region and most of you have know, there are a lot of small and medium sized firms out there. So they're going to have real challenges, dealing with their clients adding value and finding the right way to engage them and to advise them. But there's also the question, which is of concern, not just to those concerned about the legal profession, and the commercial sector, but also consumers and others having access to justice. And if this continues unabated, it this will undermine the this is the courts, this is specifically referring to, but it's also equally applicable to those accessing it through through ADR institutions, and even the ad hoc is you're going to have increasing access to justice issues coming up. Now, obviously, the virtual arbitration option is going to be the game changer, it is the game changer, because it has so many efficiencies. And as we've all commented elsewhere, there's increasingly going to be people who are saying that they are not interested in going all the way back to full face to face start to finish procedures, whether it's arbitration or mediation, I think we can all acknowledge that now that this has been rolled out so effectively across the world, this is here to stay. And the good news is that this can actually help people in terms of how they do deal with parties locally and internationally. And I think it's a two way street, I think you'll see practitioners from the region offering their services or nationally and internationals offering their services regionally. But it will also help in terms of procedural timelines, and just handling costs generally. Now, there are issues about using video conferencing for arbitration. And one of the many comments that and analyses offered recently, for example, is by an American based National Academy of arbitrators, these there's always this question about, for example, you have this need to provide a fair and adequate hearing and to provide effective services to parties. But with this, how would you allow an arbitrator to issue an order without mutual consent? And I think that given the extraordinary nature of what we're dealing with, and this is what the naa has asserted, is that you can that the hearings, during an extraordinary incidents such as this, and if there's a party in opposition is non responsive declines to provide reasonable explanation, and or the case of us continuing liability or time sensitive matters, they can proceed. The good news is for our region is that are there we go?
What have we gotten the region, the region actually, sorry, I want to just do that I double click by mistake. Virtual arbitration does work the region for several reasons, including and these are some examples, it is addressed to things like the Saudi arbitration law is addressed in the UAE Federal Arbitration law, and the institution's all of them, including the Cairo centre listed there, they all provide for the use of the technologies to allow parties to avail themselves of this and that these things will be admissible, acceptable and otherwise. So this is part of the existing legal framework in the region, the procedural rules and so on accommodate the use of virtual ADR. So this is very important for anyone in the region, or anyone coming to the region. Just very briefly, I wanted to show you because since I came to the region in 2008, we've had literally a sea change every single member state of the GCC, and in fact, most me that nations have an ongoing concern and ongoing ADR centre initiative. And for the balance, they've done quite well. And you can see that if you look across the region, most of them offer arbitration or mediation case management, they offer the facilities, which inshallah we'll all be visiting sooner rather than later. But in the interim, virtual mediation has been rolled out pretty much across the board, and with reasonably good results in terms of delivering the services. The latest on the far side is Muscat. And they will next year be joining the fray. But it's not just about arbitration as some of the most because of new noted, we've got to consider mediation. Now. Why is mediation taking root in the region, in part because there are core connected programmes, Saudi Arabia's core connected programmes? Dr. homins been working and our team has been working with the Ministry of Justice with the courts, but also they've gone further and they've engaged the Ministry of Commerce and others. So there are a lot of court connected or agency based mediation initially ships, which are having a big impact on how mediation is perceived. Similarly, they have court connected mediation in Saudi Arabia through the Ministry of Justice there, and we've been training mediators recently on that. Similarly, the UAE courts have committees for mediation, which cover the spectrum disputes, DIFC and adgm. Both their court systems offer mediation programmes at present. So I think you can see that the infrastructure is there, the capacity is there. But also, the reason mediation is having impressive results is this long standing effort by a lot of players across the region for many years, in terms of sustaining these programmes and trying to get the results and success stories out there. One of them is just the transformation and the elevation of regional talent. I don't think most people know that 1000s of Arab lawyers and professionals have had skills development of training through the Chartered Institute, the Saudi Centre for commercial arbitration, the trainees and elsewhere. So we have been training literally 1000s of Arab lawyers and other professionals in mediation skills in mediation, awareness, and other workshops, but also driving it are the ad hoc cases, which have always been in the region. I've done a talks in Saudi Bahrain and elsewhere. And I can tell you that the parties are very sophisticated and very amenable and capable, and they do resolve their disputes. Again, longer term, they've had success with programmes in Jordan, Saudi Bahrain and elsewhere that are connected. And as I said, the agencies in Saudi, the other thing is that the private sector is driving this. And just so you know, it's not just when for example, Dr. Hammond I are in Washington meeting with Raytheon, Northrop Grumman are some large players are in London, meeting with others. When we are doing all of our outreach, whether it's oil and gas, energy, or other players, there is this awareness, and this willingness, and this use by multinationals, regional players and people with working in and from the GCC in the MENA region. So increasingly, people are putting instep clauses into their contracts, ad hocs, continue to post dispute referrals to the institution's. Now I think COVID is going to be driving existing, but also new users into the use of mediation. Now, the neutrals themselves, I can say are themselves promoting the services directly to their peers, and also promoting those to the corporations. And that's hugely important. The outreach the people like Dr. Howard, myself and others have done over the years, as well as Michael, john and Robert. And, as I say, a lot of institutional players is going out meeting with and briefing not just the law firms themselves, who are quite sophisticated, but the corporations, but I think you're going to see that this imperatives of access to justice are going to be driving this as well. And as tides float all boats, arbitration will benefit as well as people who use mediation move forward. the legal profession, it has clients who are coming to them having experienced mediation, either in London, New York, Paris elsewhere, but also Singapore, Riyadh a frame. So people are doing that. To give you a sense of how deep the roots are for ADR, you have to understand that the legal practitioners are also doing any, excuse me, donating a great deal of their time, to ADR competitions, move competitions, which are ongoing in the region in Arabic and English. You also have to consider the supportive legislative environment so even the Saudi commercial law that came out it also encourages early dialogue and early settlement of disputes. And it expressly permits the commercial courts to utilise mediation in the private sector. So ADR is named in as an option as something to be tapped into and promoted. And an interesting comment here by Clyde and CO, where they make the comment will make ADR mandatory in some cases, they say while mandatory mediation is a patchy record and success in other jurisdictions, any initiative by the commercial courts to encourage ADR is to be welcomed. And for too long litigation has been the sole port of call making managed remediation. remediation mandatory in some cases may serve to raise awareness of ad or the kingdom and reduce the amount of unnecessary litigation. I've always found on whether it's in Canada, United States, UK, Europe, Australia, Chile, doesn't matter where it is. Mandatory schemes have primed the pump, increased awareness and provided legitimacy, even cover for those pitching it within their organisations. Also, you've got to consider that increasingly there. Mediation laws being put in place across the region. Saudi Arabia last fall introduced sort of Bahrain last fall introduced their mediation law. And what's interesting about it is it has created a Ministry of Justice certified mediators list, but the flexibility they're always mindful of party autonomy. Our parties are allowed to To retain external mediators if they agreed to do so. But what's important also is that they post things like ethical standards. And they also, it's important that these local statutes are there, because there have to be certain things that you won't find in other jurisdictions. in red, you'll see in the middle of the page, not serve as a mediator, he or she, and one of the parties have kinship to the fourth level, these things matter and are relevant to a place like Bahrain, where the where the number of people involved may have to be reflected upon, and it's a fairly limited pool in some instances, but it is growing. But finally, I think what's important is these issues like confidentiality that in the past have undermined the effectiveness for appeal of mediation, the region have been addressed. So all mediation proceedings are considered confidential unless the parties agree otherwise, and the courts may refer them and the agreement is enforceable by law. Saudi Arabia has a mediation law that is in the final stages as well. And Dr. Hamad is his elbows in on this, as we all are in working to try to see this law in mediation. And this is relevant for a number of reasons, including the fact that Saudi Arabia ratify the Singapore convention. So they're going to have to be getting in line so to speak. But as was the case noted, international settlement agreements falling under the convention involving local assets may be enforced directly by the courts of Saudi Arabia. So when case says that you can proceed with with confidence, similarly, al-timimi made the note that mediated settlement agreements agreed in the kingdom can also be voted for us and other signatory states. So I think this is this is producing a great deal of confidence for those wanting to use it. So overall. And just to conclude, I just wanted to make the point that successful jurists just as jurisdictions and centres will likely continue growing, the case loads are growing.
They have the track record with the staff, the rules, the procedures, and of course, the case law that was alluded to by Dr. Hamad. And we, by the way, have articles that we've written with Gar, among other publications, specifically addressing the issues of the case law, and the issues like diversity, because I think it's really important for people outside the region to know that what we're dealing with is is a region that is really embracing gender, professional, geographic, regional, sectoral diversity, completely so that among those 1000s of lawyers who have been briefed, trained and engaged and things like being certified as fellows of the charges for arbitrators, as arbitrators, or as court certified beaters in Bahrain, or mediators in Saudi, Kuwait, Oman and elsewhere, what you're going to see is because of this, there is a level of sophistication that is driving all of this, the judiciary, the lawyers, the practitioners, and because they have this comprehensive suite of virtual ADR services, they're able to provide this for whatever the duration is of this COVID challenge. So finally, the factors that will determine and drive the greater innovation uptake of ADR ad hoc versus institutional, regional versus International, local access to justice, managing risk, the increasingly impressive as opposed to the past judicial appointment performance. In Saudi in Bahrain, and in neighbouring jurisdictions, the UAE is coming along as well. And in Oman, the quality of the neutrals and the ongoing performance enhancement legislative frameworks. So it's very impressive stuff. I thank you.
Thank you, James. And thank you for keeping to time we have the result of the second poll. I don't think I've given that one. Are you optimistic, but ADR in the region? 97%? Say, yes. We also have the result of the third poll, which was will London continue to be a preeminent place for references for arbitration for the region? And that came up with a 61%. Yes, answer. So from our fantastic audience, we have had a couple of questions, which is good. And, indeed, from our colleague, Tony Marx, he says, What is the panel's experience of the use of adjudication in the GCC? And from Alistair grey, he's asked a similar point statutory adjudication would help in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and transparency and fairness and construction. So I'd like to bring in john Wright, calling from our DB chambers also on the panels of the SCCA and the Chartered arbitrator, pasture, the Justin sea Board of Trustees fidic presidents list adjudicator. So, john, I'm gonna put you in the hot seat and just ask you, what you what would be your view be of the introduction of statutory adjudication in the various Jews to urge jurisdictions in the region and then maybe pass on to Robert. So just very briefly, john on over to you.
Thank you, Mike. All these are obviously personal views and the Chamber's views have a have a different view. dedications be very successful in the UK. But it's hard as Dr. Hamad said it, it has to have all all the systems have to have enforcement, they have to have support from the legislation from the courts and so on. Now, that's been true in the UK. If it is true in other countries, and I think educational could work. Where you're going to get resistance is obviously from employers, who will say that just ends up with me having to pay earlier, what I might want to put forward is something you might refer to in your introduction, which is the use of dispute boards. Now, I've been to a three day conference on dispute boards, and in two minutes, I'm not going to explain what they are. But they're broadly for those in the audience who don't know, it's broadly one person or three, sometimes five, who will be involved in a project from the outset. And their role is not simply dismiss as adjudicators and determine disputes, but also to assist the parties. And in fact, only yesterday, I was discussing a potential project and not in GCSE, but not too far away with someone and he said, the reason we wanted to establish a dispute board is yes, to determine some issues, but actually to bring the parties together, the job of all this dispute will it'll be a three person one is to is to try and stop the parties arguing and to bring them closer together, and to try and find some harmony. And that was the driving factor. And whether I'll be involved in that in that matter. In that particular project remains to be seen. And obviously one of two or three would be considered. But I thought that was a very interesting observation. And that's given gives, I think, dispute balls, a wider attraction appeal than adjudication can ever have. duplication is rough and ready, it is fast, it is quick, it is effective. And if it is enforceable, and it should be, then it can keep the cash flow moving. And that was the purpose of introducing it in the UK, and around around the Commonwealth, Australia and New Zealand. And so dispute boards have a similar, similar remit. But they do have this wider appeal, which I think would I if someone was saying Would you like to introduce static indication, or to have a robust system of dispute boards? I would go for the latter. I was involved in, I'll be very brief. And I was involved in what I was told and other people may say is wrong, but simply what I was told was the only only dispute would at that time in Saudi last year, and we issued the decision. And of course, then the dispute board simply is focused officio, we have no further role to play on that particular aspect. We don't know if that was enforced or not. But it was a fairly swift process. It was a great deal cheaper than arbitration. It dealt with a particular issue between the parties. We weren't able to facilitate any sort of settlement. And that wasn't our role in that particular issue. Had we been there right from the start of the project, maybe we could have had a broader role of dispute avoidance. I think dispute boards in construction projects, tech projects, shipbuilding projects are the future. And I think that's where people should be going adjudication. Yes. But d bS? d a BS? I think definitely. Yes. Okay. Just very quickly, Robert, has anything you'd like to add?
Yeah, I would agree, actually, with what john has just been saying. But as far as adjudication is concerned, unless you have judicial and statutory support is not going to work. So it comes from, from essentially from government and down. adjudication will work is certainly useful for perhaps the smaller projects where dispute boards will be considered over the top and economic perhaps, but dispute boards without a doubt, do work. They have a month. They're multifunctional in dispute avoidance as well as resolution if that's necessary. And even here in in Dubai. I've been approached for a couple of dispute boards, admittedly there to do with the Expo, which is now 2021, of course, and the pavilions, maybe it's international outside forces that wish to use so dispute boards there. As far as adjudication is concerned. I've been approached for adjudication here, but it tends not to go ahead there is it's difficult for adjudication to get off the ground, although few have actually been agreed between the parties in the system has been used.
Thank you, Robin. And thank you to our two grand Tony max for their questions point. So that's one for you, Dr. Hamad from Michael Patrick Joyce, some of us know, well, what plans does the SC CIA have for dealing with ADR in the various free zones that are being established in the kingdom over to Dr. Hamad?
Thank you again. I think this is a really important question because, for example, currently we have a representative office in King Abdullah econometric city. And also a few weeks ago, we we we celebrated our office in King's Hillman. City for energy, what is called Spark. In addition to that, we have very strong and relationship with King Abdullah economic city also, sorry, King Abdullah financial district. So all in all, and also there is some kind of cooperation with between SCCA, and the special authority now they are managing and supervising the free zones and the economical cities. ssca I can summarise my answer. First of all, physically, we are already there in some of these cities and free zones. Number two, we are really in terms of our roster. As you as you saw our offices will diversify in terms of nationalities, civil law and diversity in in all aspect number three, also, there is a lot of steps has been taken in cooperation with these cities to be there physically. And also now the online application is helping us. So what I can assure, yes, we are ready. And we are already in contact with these three zones. And we started to be there physically, in some of its and soon will be in some other. If you allow me also, another question has been raised to ask about the online application if allow me to answer that because it's very related to that. One of the attendees asked about about the MENA region, which is the fusion they have they have He called this a call it electronic application.
What I can assure even before the endemic SSA lounge, it's already out online dispute resolution for the small cases, it's virtually 100%. And that away before the pandemic, so we were preparing ourselves for for that even before the pandemic. So it's 100%, not only the application is online, the whole process from A to Z is virtual, and online. In addition to that, also the maybe the second week. In the demick, we announced the application of arbitration and mediation cases is online. And until now, it's online. So anyone can apply for arbitration mediation cases online in SCCA. In addition to that, that the special programme that we launched due to the pandemic would call the EMP. Also, it's 100%. Natural. So what I can summarise we were ready before the pandemic and the pandemic make us more familiar more supporting and if all the parties now they are they are okay with the virtual hearings, virtual application, or sorry, online applications. So all in all, yes, we are already we have we are having, you know, the the electronic application.
Okay, that's a great question. A great answer. don't have it. Now I have a question for my former colleague, Sarah Kony. And this is probably one for James. What do you think the primary drivers are for mediation in the region? Now bear in mind, Sarah is a family lawyer and family mediator. So she's probably interested in family and family business disputes, but not necessarily exclusively. So is it privacy, cost or speed? All three? James, what? What do you think about that in a regional context, and maybe Dr. Hamad as well.
Go first names with the national newspaper in Dubai is probably now almost 10 years old. They embraced by family businesses. That was alluded to by Robert is there I've done I've done a number of them. My colleagues do a number of them. And a lot of these home office centres initiatives, and councils and associations across the region, have been assisting in bringing in all of us to speak to their memberships to speak to their leadership's and to spread the message. The reason they're interested in part, historically, was privacy. Almost all the mediations that I did in the MENA, even when there were family, run businesses and or had an element of A, say, complex family issues, chose to actually hold these mediations in London, and Germany and Paris and overseas. They were not held in the region. I think that was because there were a lot of people involved in any given one of these, and they didn't want to be seen to be assembling at the local hotel or or suite of services, because it would signal to everyone in the community that something was afoot or right. So I think I think historically, privacy, secrecy, confidentiality, social issues were preeminent. But over the last five years, increasingly, these mediations, and arbitrations are taking place in the GCC. And I think that that speaks to a an evolution of how people perceive things like mediation. So I think people are embracing it, in part because they see it as not being, as they see this be a constructive process. They see it as working, and they are moving. How would you say further further upstream? So they're not letting them linger? because initially, they were old disputes that had fester. Now people are bringing us in, because they see a problem percolating. So it's timeliness is increasingly there. But I think it's also confidence in the process. And by the way, family mediation is something in the region and has something that I would be happy to talk to her about.
Okay, well, that Sarah and to Kearney from Charles Russell speechlys says they now don't have it. Is there anything that you would like to add on that point?
I agree 100%. with James, what we're not even the explanation is to say, in the case that we received, especially from the commercial court, I feel, first of all the privacy playing important role and also the flexibility, in addition to that the support from the judicial system. For example, now, the converting the enforcement of the settlement into an enforcement title, that blade also important role. And I can also make the fourth reason for supporting a mediation conciliation in the inside in particular, also the cultural aspect, I feel the culture impacting positively the mediation, conciliation, so mixing the culture with the tools, the the, the modern, you can say tools. So for example, this is a study from 2017, very early, and it may be the first year and even before we launched, officially, we started with tripit. So they are conducting a special programme for mediation. And we are so you know, you know, the the professionals visual is the, the lawyer, they were very thirsty, to attend and to get benefit of this. And also the feedback after the programme, the written and the feedback from from the lawyers will not lawyers, was great to mix these techniques with their techniques with the culture. I think this makes a play important role. And I feel there is a bright future for Mediation and Conciliation in Saudi in particular and in the region engine.
Thank you very much, Dr. Hamad. Well, I was proposing to do this one final question. I was just going to put possibly to Dr. Hamad, and maybe to James, and then I was just going to invite each of the panellists maybe to sum up any further thoughts in a sentence and we'll close it down. So we'll let it run for just a little bit more than an hour so that my old University colleague Paul Rostow, as asked about how does, how does ADR fit with Islam? So that's quite a big question, Dr. Hamad for you to answer in a couple of sentences but I'm sure you can give us a flavour
Honestly speaking, maybe I ended my answer for the first the the previous question about conciliation mediation, for example, in Islam or injury, it's the people that are encouraged to reach a settlement so mediation or conciliation soulful masala in Arabic, as something encouraged the people are encouraged by by religion, to reach a settlement and to reach you know, middle ground. So I feel here it's it's positive and also arbitration. It has mentioned put on and in Prophet Mohammed, sooner. So I think, what I can summarise in a sentence, it's playing a positive role to support arbitration and mediation. And because of that, what you can see, for example, Saudi is ratifying and is the party to New York convention since more than around now 20 years or more. And now singable convention and we are very active and our centre is is, is now within the best practices and nothing of that there is nothing of that is contradicting with Islam or with Sharia. It's the opposite is encouraging all of these techniques, and you know, all of these dispute resolutions is encouraged by religion.
Thanks, James. Is there anything you'd like to add?
Very briefly, the I think people know that, that there's always been this notion of wisata remediation, but also so hard. So where are you and even places like, in Afghanistan and across the world, you've got to have traditional mediation, and sometimes When we've brought in international programmes, so for example, 2005, six, I was training the mediators in Jordan. And interestingly, when I would come back, they would show me statistics from the newspaper saying that their mediators had for divorce, speaking of family, that they have a 68% reconciliation rate in their family mediation. Now I said to them, oh, that's very interesting, because I can assure you, that is not the case. In the West, when you show up for a divorce mediation, you leave with a divorce. But they but what they did was they were doing this now my concern at the time was, are these mediators skilled in this very separate area, which is reconciliation and counselling and so on. And they they underscored and you have to accept it, because this is what they what they're doing. And they like, they say, listen, in Islam, we are encouraged to keep the family together. And we are encouraged to bring people together. And this is how we do it. So people will be doing what they've been doing in the way that they choose. But I think that there's also in any of these situations, the key is having user awareness. Because if the users get what they expect, and what they've been prepped to experience, whether it's arbitration or mediation, they will be thoroughly satisfied, they will be able to make informed decisions, and they'll get a quality experience, that the challenge for us is to make sure that people are properly prepped, briefed, advised and otherwise ready to use the processes appropriately, and that we deliver the process as billed as badged.
Okay, thank you very much. JOHN, do you want to maybe kick off with a couple of as well, it's good opportunity for the whole of the panel to deal with anything that I've forgotten to serve. I apologise in advance for forgetting anything. God won't say a couple of words to sum up any things you particularly take from all this
was I find it very interesting discussion. I think safety is is the word unique. Sometimes it's overused, but I think Saudi is uniquely placed for long term construction projects to embrace a faster method of dispute resolution and dispute avoidance. You know, we know we have the Red Sea project, we have neon palm I looked up to remind myself earlier on today on the mega projects, and they are absolutely enormous projects. And one doesn't want those to run into problems. So I think save us as a very, very well place to leave the region and maybe even the world in terms of resolution of disputes and issues on mega project. I look forward to the interests of the next few years. Thank you, john, and thank you for your contribution earlier. Robert, just very briefly to wrap up. Mute, unmute Robert. Here we go. Hello. Hello. Hello, Robert. Yes, we are back again.
Yes, actually, I mean, what what john just said is absolutely right. And it'll be interesting to see how it develops. From my perspective, I've been very encouraged to see that the way that ADR not just arbitration, but generally is being taken up within the region. And of course, the fact that Saudi is accelerating their ADR programme and has been taking great leaps and bounds over the last few years. As of some other countries, it seems to me that we are definitely moving in the right direction. I think we need to work a little bit harder on mediation. The tools are there. But the users still aren't convinced in some areas. Certainly, a lot of the people I talk to here in Dubai. The big concern, of course, is the lack of privacy, the lack of confidentiality, but there are ways to overcome this. And indeed, as we've seen, Bahrain is already finding ways to overcome its within their rules and regulations. So yes, let's move forward. I think ADR, ADR has a great future here, and it takes the pressure off the course, it can't be a bad thing.
Okay, well, I'm going to ask Jameson to have an event just to kind of sum up my experiences that I did a mediation last June, in fact, divided in two days, we didn't settle, but that was under the rules, mediation rules of DIFC. lcia. So we had a nice framework, we had preliminary meeting. We didn't settle but we gave it a good go and everybody, you know, behaved as they would in a mediation anywhere else. So it was it was really good. Now I'm just gonna pull a bit of a fast bullet journal because I've got a couple of questions which come in from q&a, which you may have seen from tilos value. What are the five a conflict? I think it's a conflict resolution strategies or the GCC? I wasn't sure there were five you may be aware and I And then as a supplemental from somebody else? Where does the need, if any, for solutions to fit in with Islamic law? Where did where does that fit in with the overall picture? So over to you, James briefly. Um, I think I didn't mean to put you on the spot. But I have,
I think, well, the interesting thing about the strategies, I think the key to making sure that this thing is fully realised, is a combination of, of sustained investment of time, energy effort, but also a real alignment, we have to have collegiality, which which we've always tried to encourage between the ADR centres between the ministries of justice, when we designed the Middle East judicial dialogue years ago, that was very important to bring together the Supreme Courts of the region, these things do matter. And you can see it because even in 2008, and 10, the Saudis sent to our events in Bahrain, you know, 20 Senior judges, who were absolutely fully engaged, fully briefed and turned on when you meet the judges and Dr. Hammett's been meeting with the judges across the Saudi region. And we've been doing it he and I have also done it with judges in Kuwait and elsewhere, Oman, they are all very, very enthusiastic about not being obstacles to arbitration mediation, the thing that judges will always say to Dr. Hammond or myself, and I'm sure they've told them to you is we're here to enable the parties to do what they wish, what they set out to do. And we're not there to be obstacles, we're there to facilitate the arbitration in the mediation processes. I think that bodes very well, I think the strategy is more education, more collaboration.
But in terms of getting more dispute boards, and more adjudicative processes in place that both john and Robert have alluded to and yourself, I think it will require working with that you work with people like Dr hum and others who are the platform for bridging the the providers with the public sector. Because as has been mentioned, by all the speakers, there is this really intimate relationship between not just family owned businesses, but all and the larger infrastructure resource ones, but also the government entities, whether it's PPP or what have you. So I think I think that the strategy is more alignment, more engagement, and more clarity and briefing of officials, anybody who has met with any of the ministers of justice across the GCC, and even places like Morocco, and Jordan is aware that these are sophisticated people also the ministers of commerce, they are always keen to facilitate to remove barriers to increase their rankings on on matrix with World Bank and otherwise. So they everybody knows what's there, we just need to bridge a few gaps and help close the gap and Saudis mediation law will be similar to the bar anyone, as will inshallah the the others who have signed the Civil War convention. But Dr. Ahmed, over to you. Okay, thank you, James.
I agree with Jeff's 100%, about what he mentioned, I think I can summarise that into work to make ADR systematic and sustainable. And that needs maybe a lot of tools as I tried to draw during my presentation very quickly. For example, sometimes if if someone or at the time someone enthusiastic to do something, if you cannot keep the momentum, and to make some things systematic and sustainable, it will be like a model and it will disappear in a few years. And I remember a friend of mine and behind in basically, he said, Hamad, I saw a lot of ADR centre established all around the world. And I tell my colleagues, this is my my brother saying he asked his colleagues to stay for three to five years, if the centre is survive, so they will have future because sometimes, you know, someone is so enthusiastic to establish a centre and they thought it's just kind of good place and, and just the, you know, good tower. That said, I think what what I see in reality in Saudi on the ground, it's a systematic and sustainable change. And it's part of the Civil Division, sorry, division is a systematic and sustainable change in all aspects. And we are about to have that. Just very quickly, and I agree with Jim spark of that is building the new generation. So for example, in here in SCCA, we started the first aerobic mode, and the first version was between University This is just an example about systematic and sustainable. We started from the universities.
Our target was if we any we thought if we are able to attract 1010 teams, we are lucky we ended up with 3739 teams You know, the enthusiasm from all of these students, girls and boys, was amazing, amazing universities from all around the world, from north to south, from east to west. To show you it's a systematic and they were day and night studying unit rawa and you know, unit Citroen and ssaa rules and all of these things, and it's new for the country. So this one of the tools, education, awareness, laws or regulations to make it systematic. For example, I remember we used to, we did two workshops with the judges, and the His Excellency, the Minister, he wanted to make that systematic. So we agreed with the Minister of Justice NEC to make it you know, sometimes some workshops, he agreed His Excellency to sign a contract in oil between SSA and the Minister of Justice, to create a special training material to be on created basis to be conducted for the related judges to make it systematic and sustainable. So these some of the examples, just would like to see, ADR is not a model, it's a systematic, and that there is a trend for the development of a safe and if you witness 2018 19, in terms of laws or regulations, in terms of education, in terms of, you know, the enforcement in terms of the cooperation between all the these, you know, all of these things, by the end of the day, you will see it's a future there is a future of SSA. And we witness that in terms of number of cases, the number of big companies, they are including disassembled Of course, in their contracts, and the number of people that are interested, I can say just I would like to finalise but this information when the Minister of Justice and there are the the considerations since they announced, they are they open the door to for conciliator to register for conciliation more than 20,000 to 20,000 day. So there is big demand for because everyone believes there is a great future for ADR and ceremony. So everyone wants to be part of that. And I'm happy there is a vision from the government to be within the best practices, as you can see on our international our rules, our roster, our advisory boards and our board. So sorry, again for iceberg more than I
don't have a Thank you. Well, it remains for me to wrap this up by thanking our fantastic audience and their participation in the polls, and also in the q&a and the chat. And also to thank our distinguished panellists. Thank you very much a very wide ranging set of contributions. And just finally, to say that the recording will be available, I'm sure on the respective websites at the SCCA and RDP chambers, and elsewhere on the usual side of social media and pod places your places. And we will also see whether we can email the recording, which we've done before, actually, to the participant. So again, thank you to our audience. Without you this would not work. And thank you to our panellists. Without you it won't work and bear with you in respect of those in the region, a very good evening and in respect of those elsewhere. A very good afternoon. Thank you very much indeed. Thank you.