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CIArb News

CIArb President discusses forthcoming Dubai conference

3 February 2017 News

 In just over a month, CIArb's International Arbitration Conference will kick off in Dubai. Held at the One&Only Royal Mirage on 8-9 March, this is the first of three related international arbitration conferences scheduled for 2017.

Nayla Comair-Obeid

CIArb President, Professor Dr Nayla Comair-Obeid, discusses why there was a need for this event, what outcomes it hopes to achieve and the benefits for CIArb members and the wider ADR community.


The theme for the conference is ‘The Synergy and Divergence between Civil Law and Common Law in International Arbitration’. Why was this theme in particular chosen?
The cultural diversity characterising international arbitration is as much a source of enrichment as it is sometimes a source of practical difficulties affecting both the arbitration procedure and the application of substantial law. By focusing on ‘The Synergy and Divergence between Civil Law and Common Law in International Arbitration’, the three conferences will facilitate the creation of a dialogue between professionals from common and civil legal traditions, and will enable the tackling of practical difficulties created by the divergences between these two legal traditions.

How will delegates see this theme develop over the course of the three conferences?
Each of the conferences will examine the theme from the perspective of different regions of the world: Asia and the MENA region at the Dubai conference, Africa at the Johannesburg conference, and Europe and the Americas at the Paris conference.

While a first set of recommendations will be developed in Dubai, the Johannesburg conference will build on the Dubai outcomes and take them into consideration both during the discussions and in its final recommendations. Finally, the Paris conference will draw together all the issues, problems and proposals identified at the Dubai and Johannesburg events so that tangible ways to bridge the gap between civil and common law are identified.

What is the benefit of the conferences to CIArb members?
Our aim is to gather an outstanding group of professionals who will share their experiences and ideas with the audience. Thus, the conferences will give CIArb members an opportunity to learn from the discussions and help them resolve some of the issues they face in their professional environment.

Such high profile events will help promote the Institute as widely as possible around the world, as well as position CIArb as an institution of choice in order to generate more opportunities for its members.

The conferences will benefit young members in particular by addressing the challenges and opportunities for young arbitration practitioners in order to enhance their career opportunities.

What outcomes do you hope to achieve?
I hope that by the close of the three conferences we will have collaboratively developed a list of both general and region-specific recommendations on how to bridge the gap between common and civil law, which could benefit not only CIArb members but also the broader international arbitration community.