Bet your business’ and garden-variety routine disputes are an integral part of commerce. How quickly and how cost-effectively they are resolved has a big impact on the bottom line and sometimes on important business relationships. The Global Pound Conference is asking questions of corporations, advocates, dispute resolution neutrals and other providers in over 40 cities around the world to ascertain what businesses really want and need. Some of the early results are in and they are interesting. Parties, much more than advocates, believe that maintaining party control and pre-dispute and preventative measures are very important and that non-adjudicative processes like mediation and conciliation need to be encouraged and routinised.

The Global Pound initiative of the International Mediation Institute (IMI) is taking place as the UN investigates the need for a new international treaty or other instrument to encourage enforcement of mediated settlements of international disputes. This initiative, which is being undertaken by Working Group II of the United Nations Commission on International Trade (UNCITRAL), is being encouraged by the US Chamber of Commerce because businesses have found mediation to be very helpful. It is needed because the fact that the result of mediation – a settlement agreement – is considered a contract, and is not typically readily enforceable internationally without extended process. The lack of enforceability has stunted the growth of mediation for international disputes. In New Jersey, a new statute specifically addresses this problem and will enable the creation of international mediation centres where a mediated settlement may ultimately result in an arbitral consent award enabling expedited enforcement under the New York Convention, which governs international arbitration in over 150 countries.

Jul-Sep 2017 issue

Appropriate Dispute Solutions