International Arbitration & Developing Countries
The Third TRAC-SCC joint event, titled “International Arbitration in Developing Countries”, was held on September 26, 2018 with participation of ambassadors and counselors of many Asian and European countries as well as Iranian and foreign lawyers, academics and practitioners. In addition to a number of solo speeches, the seminar composed of two challenging and demanding panels.
At the beginning, Dr.Oveis Rezvanian, the Director of Tehran Regional Arbitration Centre (TRAC) and Professor Kaj Hober, the Chairperson of the SCC Board, each greeted the audience with their welcome speeches.
In his speech, Dr. Rezvanian pointed out the key importance of selecting an arbitration institution in commercial transactions and added that still there are many companies and even lawyers that do not pay sufficient attention to the arbitration agreement. According to Dr. Rezvanian, while parties bargain strictly on every single clause of the contract, when it comes to the dispute resolution clause, all they do is to repeat the same name that they have in mind as the arbitration institution, without even knowing the reasoning behind that. Rezvanian further reminded that during last years, some well-known arbitration institutions either stopped to provide services to cases related to Iran, or made lots of problems before Iranian parties, only because the international and political environment was “unfairly” against Iran. Many cases were in the waiting list for couple of years and we all know that “delayed justice is denied justice”. According to Rezvanian, the the seminar was about deliver the message that let’s start thinking about different options in the forum, evaluate the advantages and disadvantages, look back to the history and background of the institution, and then make an appropriate selection among the existing institutions.
Rezvanian further suggested that local and small-scale business users might consider regional arbitration centers which many of them proved to be reliable solutions. Plus they are, in most cases, more efficient than some big names in terms of time and cost. Also if one is a large-scale business user with truly international transactions or it is –for any reason- looking for an institution other than local and regional ones, it should start to get familiar with arbitration institutions with brilliant reputation which their history does not show any sign of misconduct when the international and political weather changes.
Following the welcome speeches, Dr. Pedram Soltani, the vice president of Iran Chamber of Commerce, as the keynote speaker referred to the challenges of doing business in international scene. He, furthermore, emphasized onthe major role of international arbitration in settling commercialdisputes. Dr. Soltanidescribed the “arbitration” as a private and specialized method of dispute resolution which is much more efficient as opposed to litigation. Ultimately, he reiterated the fact that arbitration makes the disputes less dependent on the government-affiliatedorganizations but rather makes it a subject to a more independent method of private adjudication.
The solo speeches followed by the first panel, titled “western arbitration institution’s practice in Iran related cases: ongoing issue”. The panel was moderated by Dr. Mohammad Hossein Tavana, with participation of Professor KajHober, Dr. Moshkan Mashkourand Ms. Kristin Campbell-Willson as the panelists.
At the invitation of Dr. Tavana, Mr. Huber and Dr. Mashkur discussed the dispute resolution mechanisms with regard to arbitration institutions.
According to Dr. Mashkour,”the general principle in arbitration is the recognition of the parties’ freedom”. In this regard, he referred to article 454 of Iran Civil Procedure Code (CPC) and article 19(1) of Iran International Commercial Arbitration Law (ICAL).
Dr. Mashkour added “Iranian (whether companies or persons) may validly agree on referring their disputes to arbitral tribunals acting under the rules of Iranian or foreign arbitration institutions and having their seat inside or outside of Iran. On the other hand, foreign parties may have their disputes validly decided by an arbitral tribunal situated inside Iran. Dr. Mashkour further listed the difficulties arising from sanctionsat the initial stages of arbitration, during the proceedingsor after the hearings.He also proposed that parties can devise an alternative for these situations.For instance,parties can agree on other arbitration institutions with the followingconditions: (i) If the Institution is unable or unwilling to set the arbitration in motion within 3 months from the time a request is made by either of the parties, in accordance with the Rules, or (ii) If the arbitral tribunal, once constituted is unable or unwilling to proceed in accordance with the applicable procedural timetable, or (iii) If the arbitration proceedings is interrupted for a period of more than 3 months; or (iv) If any hearing cannot take place; or (v) If no award is issued by the arbitral tribunal within a reasonable time following the conclusion of the hearings.”
Ms. Campbell Wilson, as the last speaker of the panel, initially discussed the subject of Businesses looking for an effectivesettlement of their disputes. The requirementsfor such resolutions arequickness, efficiency (proceedings and cost) and trust in the outcome in the sense of transparency and foreseeability.Ms. Campbell Wilson also pointed out the role of the SCC as a facilitator to international business and she said” founded in 1917,SCC has a long history as a forum for arbitration.SSC is an impartial and independent institutionand it is part of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), with a Secretariat in Stockholm, International Board.”
After the first panel, in a special part of the event, Dr. Oveis Rezvanian, Director of TRAC introduced new Rules of Tehran Regional Arbitration Centre, and in particular, specified the new features of the Rules 2018 (Expedited Procedure and Emergency Arbitrator) by giving some practical examples.
The second panel, titled “practitioner’s Guide for Selecting the Best institution”, was moderated by Ms. Adinah Abghari and with participation of Dr. Mojtaba Kazazi, Dr. Mehrdad Nazemi and Mr. Sam Jalaei to share their views on this topic.
With Ms. Adineh Abghari’s initial speech on “how parties can select an appropriate institution in order to resolve their disputes”, Dr. Nazemi began his presentation and referred to essential criteria such as efficiency, time and cost as the main factors of selecting an institution. Ultimately While explaining about each one, Dr. Nazemi illustrated the geographic distribution of arbitration institutions over the world.
As the second speaker, Dr. Kazazi discussed the most important principles of arbitration and also referred to independence as the most critical criterion while selecting an arbitration institution.
Mr. Sam Jalaeias the last speaker of this panel mainly focused his speech on evaluating the Scandinavian institutions as an option for international dispute resolution.
Occluding remarks of the event was delivered by Dr. Mohsen Mohebi. He thanked the organizers of this professional seminar, and very precisely, evaluated the internal capacity of Arbitration in bothcountries, and emphasized that this capacity can and should be extended. He also referred to the considerable impact of the sanctions on the arbitration in Iran and the region and further proposed that the parties insert a local arbitration institutions clause in their contracts.
The seminar ended with lunch, allowing the attendees to network with each other.
Registration and Welcome Reception
Dr. Oveis Rezvanian, Director of TRAC
Prof. Kaj Hobér, Chairperson of the SCC Board
Dr. Pedram Soltani, Vice President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture
Western Arbitration Institutions’ Practice in Iran Related Cases: Ongoing Issues
Moderator: Dr. Mohammad H. Tavana
Prof. Kaj Hobér, Chairperson of the SCC Board
Dr. Moshkan Mashkour, Founding Partner of Sanglaj International Consultants
Ms. Kristin Campbell-Wilson, Deputy Secretary General of SCC
TRAC Rules of 2018: New Features
Dr. Oveis Rezvanian, Director of TRAC
Practitioners’ Guide for Selecting Best Institution
Moderator: Ms. Adineh Abghari
Dr. Mojtaba Kazazi, Institut de Droit International
Mr. Sam Jalaei, Partner of Magnusson Law Firm
Dr. Mehrdad Nazemi, Founding Partner & Director of International Legal Services of Fanoos Law Office
Dr. Mohsen Mohebi, Founding Partner of Dr. Mohebi & Associates Law Office