As a part of Dubai Arbitration Week 2022, International Islamic Centre for Reconciliation and Arbitration (IICRA) was pleased to organize a Seminar on "Arbitration and Reconciliation Under IICRA Rules" at Carlton Downtown Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday, 22 Rabi` al-Thani 1444 AH corresponding to November 17, 2022, AD.
At the beginning of the seminar, the General Secretary of IICRA, His Excellency Dr. Rami Sulaiman delivered the welcome speech to the distinguished audience. On his part, he highlighted the rapid growth of Islamic Finance Industry all over the globe and IICRA’s role in resolving disputes through Institutional Reconciliation and Arbitration under IICRA Arbitration and Reconciliation Rules. His Excellency further reviewed the IICRA’s most recent activities such as settling of disputes, launching of training programs, and signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with international partners. He then turned the floor over to Dr. Suzanne Munir Abdullah (Partner, OGH Legal) who highlighted the features and benefits of IICRA Arbitration and Reconciliation Rules where the audience exhibited more interest and was keen to know more about such features.
The first panel discussion entitled “Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards: Theory vs Practice” was moderated by Mr. Mohamed Elghatit (Founding Partner, OGH Legal) and attended by renowned speakers namely Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim (International Arbitrator), Mr. Sami Tannous (Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer), Mr. Lyndon Richards (Partner, Beale & Co). The speakers concluded that the legal and judicial landscape in the UAE is supportive to the recognition of Arbitral Awards, however it still needs to be enhanced. The speakers have also emphasized that the role of the arbitrator is not merely limited to issuing Awards’ papers but also extends to the primary purpose of the Award which is implementation thereof on the ground.
The second panel discussion was on “The Arbitration in Islamic Disputes: Challenges and Solutions” which was moderated by Mr. Naveen Agnihotri (Barrister, International Arbitrator & Certified Mediator) and attended by a number of prominent speakers namely Dr. Hashem M. Jaber (International Arbitrator), Dr. Marmoud Hussein (International Arbitrator), Prof. A F Maniruzzaman (International Arbitrator), and Mr. Abdulrahim Adi (AVP, Shari’ah Consultations, R&D). The speakers in the said panel discussion highlighted the importance of codification in a way to provide an appropriate and propitious environment for the development of Islamic economy. The discussion also shed light on emerging jurisprudential issues, which raised confusion among non-specialized arbitrators and judges, who decided to exclude the provisions of Shari’ah as a Governing Law to settle disputes or in the best-case scenario, they erred in adapting Islamic financial transactions to fit conventional thinking. The speakers also stressed that in in light of the legislative shortcomings and many such problems and challenges, Arbitration at IICRA remains the best methods for adjudicating Islamic finance disputes given a number of features that make it stand out, are flexibility, efficiency, and minimal costs etc.
Post insightful panel discussions, the General Secretary of IICRA, Dr, Rami Sulaiman has extended his gratitude and appreciation to all the distinguished speakers and moderators for their immensely useful discussions as well as to the audience for sparing their valuable time to attend the Seminar. The seminar concluded with the presentation of recommendations made by IICRA Head of Communications Musheer Ahmad which are as follows:
1. Recommending clients to incorporate IICRA Arbitration Clause in their contracts and agreements to avail IICRA services and resort to IICRA to settle their disputes.
2. Inviting lawyers and jurists to avail IICRA’s Services, mainly dispute resolution in order for them to be well-versed from Shari’ah and legal and technical aspects of Islamic Finance Transactions.
3. Further recommending dealers in Islamic Finance Industry to hold more to support the culture of Arbitration and Islamic Finance.
4. Inviting those wishing to enhance their skills to attend Certified Islamic Arbitrator and Expert (CIAE) Training Program that IICRA periodically offers.
5. Inviting the parties to the dispute to utilize IICRA e-platform to settle disputes in accordance with IICRA Rules in order to save time, effort, and money.
The Secretary General concluded the forum, declaring its success in promoting the culture of Islamic arbitration, and including it in the list of successful events organized by IICRA and will continue to be held, God willing.