The events kicked off in Sydney on 30 March 2014 with a sold-out launch conference hosted by the Sydney Business Chamber. Speakers included Angela Bowne SC, an experienced mediator specializing in complex, cross-border patent disputes, James Morrison, a dispute resolution specialist at Allens Linklaters and former counsel of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, as well as Hannah Tümpel, the representative of the ICC International Centre for ADR.
While Angela Bowne noted that she hopes Australian companies will be encouraged to consider the use of mediation also more regularly for cross-border disputes, James Morrison underlined the importance of carefully drafting dispute resolution clauses in commercial contracts, to avoid bad surprises once a dispute arises. Khory McCormick, Partner at Minter Ellison in Brisbane, closed the Sydney event by underlining the challenges in Asia-Pacific with regard to the development of mediation due to the multi-jurisdictional nature of the region. He added that in his view ICC “is at the forefront of developments with the new ICC Mediation Rules which are in particular adapted to cross-cultural disputes” and that “the ICC Mediation Rules fit nicely into increased awareness of in-house counsel in the Asia Pacific region to build ADR options into their risk management systems.”
Two days later, the new ICC Mediation Rules were launched in Melbourne during a lunch time event held at the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria. The conference was opened by Honorary Justice Clyde Croft, member of the Supreme Court of Victoria who noted that “the new Mediation Rules represent ICC’s latest important contribution to international commerce. Oftentimes, parties encounter procedural problems in mediation that might easily have been avoided by an agreement to adopt a comprehensive body of rules for the conduct of the mediation. This is particularly so with the emergence of a global economy, and transnational disputes – where parties to arbitration and mediation emanate from different nations and divergent cultures.”
The Melbourne event was not only attended by representatives of business, of different chambers and courts and by dispute resolution practitioners, it was also attended by members of the two teams which competed in the Final of this year’s ICC Mediation Competition, one of the teams being from Melbourne’s very own Monash University. As Hannah Tümpel remarked in her words of welcome “looking at these young members of the Australian dispute resolution community, we are sure that the future of mediation in this country is in very safe hands.”
During his remarks, Justice Croft further underlined the importance of the ICC Mediation Rules being administered by the ICC International Centre for ADR. He reminded all participants that the Centre is the only body empowered to administer mediations under the Rules, “affording parties the benefit of the expertise and professionalism of a leader in international dispute resolution.” He also complimented the revised ICC standard clauses. “These clauses will be useful to those drafting commercial agreements who wish to take advantage of the procedures and facilities contemplated by the rules.”
“We are thankful for the warm welcome the ICC Mediation Rules have received here in Australia, a country at the forefront in the use of mediation for domestic disputes” said Hannah Tümpel after the events and following various meetings with representatives of business associations, chambers and leading law-firms in both cities. “The vast interest of the business community in the new set of Rules and an increased use of mediation for the resolution of cross-border disputes testifies that the Rules have come at the right time and are important addition to the suit of services and rules ICC can offer in this region”.
Summarizing the importance of the events for the Australian market, Bryan Clark, Director of Trade and International Affairs of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Director of ICC Australia stated: “The ICC mediation rules launch events in Sydney and Melbourne were a really important step in assisting Australian dispute resolution practitioners to understand the new rules. More importantly though, it was an opportunity to highlight the role ICC plays in assisting business around the world to firstly appropriately construct commercial contracts and secondly provide a cost and time efficient process for resolving any disputes that may arise.”
With the Australian events concluding a series of launch events of the new ICC Mediation Rules in Asia-Pacific, the Rules will now be presented in other regions of the world, including Ankara on 18 April, Dubai on 1 May, Sao Paolo on 14 May and Rome on 11 June 2014.
For more information and details on how to register, please visit the Arbitration & ADR webpage. You can also contact the Centre at email@example.com.
To learn more about ICC Mediation, including the new Mediation Rules, please visit the Mediation webpages.