Publication date: 
30 May 2017

Chief justices, heads of commercial courts and registrars attended the inaugural meeting of the Standing International Forum of Commercial Courts in London. Attendees, from over 25 different jurisdictions, discussed matters relating to (i) cooperation and collaboration, (ii) enforcement, (iii) case management, technology and best practice and (iv) the relationship between courts, arbitration and mediation.

The event took the form of a round-table discussion led by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd. The Chief Justice of Uganda, the Hon. Bart M. Katureebe, then addressed the participants on the specific issue of challenges and opportunities for commercial courts in developing countries. Later in the day, the Chief Justice of Singapore, the Hon. Sundaresh Menon, chaired a lively discussion about cases management where contributors highlighted the various innovations adopted in their respective courts to deal with growing caseloads and the advancement in technology. Recognising the roles commercial courts play in assisting and supporting arbitration and mediation, the event closed with a discussion chaired by the Hon James Allsop AO, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, followed by remarks from Dame Janice Pereira DBE, Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

Speaking after the event, the Registrar of the Qatar International Court, Mr Christopher Grout, observed: “It was a great privilege to play a founding part in this new Forum. The topics discussed could not be more important to the development of commercial courts throughout the world. To have not only high-calibre judicial participants lead this project, but to have so many countries represented has been a great achievement.”