(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Deepak John |
Doha, Qatar: Integrating technology is vital in resolving arbitration disputes as it can improve accuracy, decision making and provides ease of accessibility, discussed experts at an event, recently.
The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Ciarb) hosted the Ciarb Qatar Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2023 which brought together over 400 professionals, experts, and thought leaders in the field of arbitration.
Dr. Nasser Al Adba, Chair, Ciarb Qatar delivered the opening speech,“For the first time, Ciarb Qatar branch is pleased to host its first Ciarb Qatar Arbitration Conference with over 300 arbitration practitioners attending the event. This conference will shed light on the latest development trends in arbitration. Several experts will discuss topics such as future of arbitration and use of Artificial Intelligence, current challenges and updates in arbitration, OIC and Arabic Investment Treaty Arbitration, UNCITRAL updates, and role of experts in arbitration - independency and cross-examination,” he said.
Saad Hegazy FCIArb, the Vice Chair of Ciarb Qatar Branch, delivered the welcome speech. The conference saw an array of captivating panels and presentations that delved into the key issues and advancements in the field of arbitration. The event witnessed two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) signed between Ciarb Qatar Branch and the Qatar Society of Engineers, and the Qatar Lawyers Association.
The first panel entitled 'Future of Arbitration and the use of Artificial Intelligence' shared insights about arbitration which touched on electronic communications, digital platforms for submissions, document production, hearing technology and electronic awards.
Antonia Birt, Partner, Reed Smith, Dubai showed some examples of technologies that are being used in arbitration.“Many of these technological advances make the arbitration process more efficient, cheaper and faster. I am personally very keen to see more technology being used in an effort to limit the environmental impact that arbitration has on the environment,” she said.
“With the advent of cloud-based technology in the last five to ten year we have seen a lot of collaboration within the parties, experts, witnesses but also arbitrators' hearings as all that can be done electronically, in a paperless environment.”
Birt noted,“We are using today virtual hearing technologies where attendees from other places can attend and also electronic awards has been possible over past five to ten years which is being used more and more in arbitration.”
Sara Malik, Advisory Board, DIAC Founder, SOL International Dispute Counsel talked about issues in arbitration, AI and metaverse.
Speaking about the use of AI in arbitration, she said,“AI has been an involving hot topic since the pandemic and the Metaverse and with the release of ChatGPT for public use. Potential uses of AI in arbitration include speech recognition, legal research and document review, awards – blockchain, arbitration in the Metaverse.”
Hillary Bell, Assistant Professor at HBKU's College of Law discussed impact of AI on the training of arbitration practitioners. She said training is an organised procedure by which people acquire practical knowledge and skills needed for a specific purpose, job or organisation.
The second panel discussed 'Current Challenges and Updates in Arbitration'. Sultan Al Abdulla, Member, ICC Court and Managing Partner, Sultan Al Abdullah & Partners shared the new development in appeals against arbitration awards annulment; Dr. Zain Sharar, Senior Legal Counsel – CEO's office, QICDRC discussed arbitrators' fees and enforcement of payment.
Speaking during the panel, Fatima Balfaqeeh, Director of the Dubai office of the Saudi Commercial Center for Arbitration (SCCA) shed light on the role of technology in resolving arbitration disputes: opportunities and challenges.“There are several benefits of integrating technology in arbitration as it can improve efficiency and speed. There are cheaper, faster and more efficient ways to achieve results by both parties,” she said.
She added that it is undeniable that technology helps in terms of accuracy and decision making as it provides ease of accessibility. There are a lot of concerns about data privacy and security of the data. One of the biggest advantages of arbitration is being confidential.”
“I think going forward there is a huge need to push the way in terms of technological advancements to provide solutions. It is now important for arbitrators to be trained and be tech savvy but also be able to direct parties with hearings (online meetings) and to ensure everything is going seamlessly. Also, to ensure integration and security of a document by using blockchain based technology to protect from any fraudulent activity.”
Prof. Nader M Ibrahim, Professor of Commercial Law, Qatar University College of Law and Salah Al Shebani, Director of State Cases Authority, Ministry of Justice, Qatar also participated in the panel discussion.