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Publication date: 
21 Nov 2020
Abstract: 

Litigation in the International Commercial Courts - in recognition of the Qatar International Court’s 10-year anniversary

An esteemed panel of judges and academics discussed the rise of specialist international commercial courts and their impact on the resolution of international commercial disputes

Summary: 

21 November 2020 - Doha, Qatar: Encouraging the resolution of international commercial disputes through specialist courts, Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre (QICDRC) acknowledged the growth of specialist international commercial courts during an online discussion today in recognition of the courts 10-year anniversary.

The online discussion was attended by a variety of local and international legal professionals and other experts. The panel consisted of Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, President of the Qatar International Court; Justice Quentin Loh, Judge of the Supreme Court of Singapore and Judge in Charge of the Singapore International Commercial Court; Judge Duco Oranje, President of the Netherlands Commercial Court (Court of Appeal); The Honorable Charles N Brower, Judge of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal and Georgios Dimitropoulos, Associate Professor at HBKU College. The panel was moderated by Dr Susan Karamanian, Dean of the College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University.

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, President of the QICDRC remarked: “I am delighted that, under the auspices of the IBA, senior judicial figures from around the world have been able to get together to discuss the importance of litigation before the international commercial courts. As today’s webinar has illustrated, there is good reason to believe that the emergence of theses courts adds a significant dimension to the resolution of commercial disputes which have an international flavour. Through organisations like the IBA and the Standing International Forum of Commercial Courts, judicial colleagues are able to work collaboratively to improve knowledge and understanding on topics such as enforcement, active case management and, in the current climate, how to respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19.”

The esteemed panel discussed the role that the new specialist international commercial courts are fulfilling in the field of international commercial dispute resolution, with a particular emphasis on the role and character of the judiciary and the development of jurisprudence. Professor Georgios Dimitropoulos observed: “International commercial courts attract foreign trade, investment and capital. In addition, these courts establish global and/or regional dispute resolution hubs.” Justice Quentin Loh noted, that “the sudden increase in commercial courts around the world shows that there is a need for alternative dispute resolution for businesses.” Judge Duco Oranje highlighted: “Commerce is becoming more and more international and English judicial systems are rising”, he added that the Court has placed special emphasis on ensuring proceedings are available to the public during the pandemic. The Honorable Charles N Brower stressed the importance of an international bench of judges: “It is not just a question of the civil and common law systems, there is a lot of interesting cultural background, even surrounding the legal systems. In the case of the International Court of Justice Article 9 stipulates that the judges have to represent ‘the main forms of civilisation and of the principle legal systems’”.

Dr Susan Karamanian, Dean of the College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, commented: “HBKU Law was honored to have been part of this important conversation about international commercial courts, initiated by the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution and under the auspices of the International Bar Association.   The distinguished panel of leading judges from around the world brought to life best practices and lessons that are relevant to courts, regardless of where they are situated and the scope of their jurisdiction.” 

Faisal Rashid Al-Sahouti, CEO of the Qatar International Court, concluded: “Specialist international commercial courts, such as the QICDRC, are instrumental in facilitating dispute resolution and harmonizing commercial laws and practices. These rising courts have an important role to play in global commerce. Such courts are an avenue for the advancement of the rule of law and we are proud to be contributing to that advancement”

The past 10-years have seen many milestones for the Court, specifically the launch of Mediation Services, the Pro Bono service and the e-court system. The Court has also placed a strong emphasis on national, regional and international agreements to enhance knowledge sharing, legal education and training. The Court is looking forward to continuing to uphold international best practices within Qatar’s vibrant commercial environment, inspired by the idea of creating a unique model for the resolution of international civil and commercial disputes within the country’s judicial system.