The workshop on “The Role of Arbitration for a Trustworthy Mediterranean Area” organized by ISPRAMED took place in Milan on 13 November 2012 within the framework of the Economic and Financial Forum for the Mediterranean 2012. In the workshop the following questions were examined:
-Why an effective arbitration regime matters for foreign investors and traders?
-What kind of requirements a governments should comply with to guarantee a reliable arbitrations system?
-How can arbitration be implemented to meet international standards?
Opening speeches were given by Giovanni Castellaneta (President, ISPRAMED) and Lino Cardarelli (Senior Deputy Secretary General, Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM). Bearing in mind that this workshop was organized by ISPRAMED within the framework of the of the Economic and Financial Forum for the Mediterranean 2012 held on November 12th and 13th hosted by the Milan Chamber of Commerce/Promos it was a crucial event aiming to illustrate how important is to guarantee a reliable arbitration system in the Mediterranean in order to attract foreign direct investment. This workshop draw attention to “how a stable and predictable arbitration regime” is essential in order to provide peace and stability in the Region. It was noted that the efficient justice will provide trust in the market and legal security to investors by improving the rule of law. Creating a favorable business climate will drive foreign investment and help commercial disputes within the frame of a good arbitration system in the Region. Mr. Cardarelli expressed that arbitration is to be considered within the frame of: -access to credit –access to trade –access to education –access to justice. It is worth noting that this workshop welcomed also the participation of the Lebanese Center to the ISPRAMED Network’s of Mediterranean Arbitration Centers.
The presentations by: Mr. Stefano Azzali, Secretary General, Milan Chamber of Arbitration and Director of ISPRAMED; Mr. Ali Haroun, Lawyer and former Algerian Minister delegated to human rights; Mr. Yacine Labib, Tunisian Lawyer; Ms. Sophie Pouget, International Finance Corporation (IFC/WB); Mr. Renaud Sorieul, Secretary General, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
Mr. Azzali expressed briefly CAM’S services in order to promote arbitration in the Region and within this frame emphasized the importance of the ISPRAMED’s Network of Mediterranean Arbitration Centers for the Region. The consolidation of the Centers in a network perspective by sharing the basic principles and best practices will provide a stable and predictable arbitration which is essential to create favorable business climate.
Ms. Pouget presented a very interesting paper specifying the project based on a survey developed by World Bank covering ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) in MENA countries. She expressed that arbitration gives legal security to the investors and so contributes to the rule of law and hence indirectly to the access to justice. This survey is a comparative work of arbitration laws, arbitration proceedings and institutions, mediation and conciliation law and proceedings in MENA countries. It is indeed a very important work to achieve concrete information on arbitration and other ADR systems in the Mediterranean and it addresses to the question of “why an effective arbitration regime matters for foreign investors and traders.”
Mr. Sorieul expressed the importance of the rule of law in attracting foreign direct investment. He emphasized that the fast and easy enforcement of arbitration awards is a main issue in the international trade. He expressed that ISPRAMED and UNCITRAL shares the same approach regarding the Network of Arbitration Centers in determining the common principles through practical cases and so constituting common practice in administering arbitral proceedings in the Mediterranean Area.
Mr. Haroun explained the arbitration system in Algeria mainly focusing on the enforcement proceedings of an international award in Algeria.
Mr. Labib pointed out that in Libya arbitration was considered as a matter contrary to the sovereignty. Furthermore Libya is not a member country of the New York Convention of 1958 on Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. The real problems and obstacles are those that arise from the former policies behind the Foreign Investment Law and its serious indirect implications in the context of dispute resolution in the judicial system. Anyway, given the context, in the last period significant changes are taking place in favour of arbitration such as the creation of an arbitration centre in Tripoli and the creation of a Committee working on an arbitration reform.
The workshop came to the end by the signatory ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of the ISPRAMED’s Mediterranean Arbitration Centers Network by Lebanese Center.
Attorney at Law-Legal Department
Istanbul Chamber of Commerce