About the Alexander Lecture The Alexander Lecture was founded in recognition of the contribution of Mr John Russell Willis Alexander (1897 - 1985) to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He served for 40 years as a member of Council and was elected President of the Institute of Arbitrators, as it was named at the time, for the period 1952 - 1955. This meeting is considered one of the most respected events in the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) calendar.
The 46th Alexander Lecture This year's lecture is entitled 'The future of dispute resolution' and will be delivered by Professor Richard Susskind OBE.
Our public and private systems for dispute resolution are under unprecedented strain. In overcoming the challenges arising from COVID-19 and in seeking to make dispute resolution more accessible, a new mindset is needed. In a digital age, it is time now to look at ways not simply of automating our current practices but of using the power of emerging technologies to transform our systems for resolving disputes. During the COVID-19 crisis, many hearings have been conducted remotely. Although many lawyers, judges and arbitrators regard video hearings as the end-game, we are instead at the foothills of much more ambitious ways of settling our legal differences. As our machines become increasingly capable, often taking on tasks that previously were regarded as the exclusive province of human beings, thought is now being given to the application of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and asynchronous processes in courts, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. There are many objections to these innovations but none that withstands detailed and well-intentioned scrutiny. While a shift towards technology-enabled dispute resolution will threaten old jobs it will also create new opportunities.
Programme (subject to change): 6.00pm - Welcome address and introduction, by Francis Xavier SC PBM C.Arb FCIArb, CIArb President 6.05pm - Alexander Lecture, by Professor Richard Susskind OBE 6.50pm - Q&A session 7.10pm - Closing remarks, by Catherine Dixon, CIArb Director General
Cost(s): Attendance to this event is free of charge but pre-registration is a must.
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Catherine Dixon joins the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators as its new Director General in May 2020 - having just completed a world-record breaking circumnavigation of the world on a tandem (cycling). Prior to her expedition Catherine spent time in chief executive roles at the Law Society of England and Wales, Askham Bryan College and NHS Resolution. Catherine has also held senior leadership roles at the NSPCC and BUPA.
Catherine has served as a trustee and non-executive director on a number of boards, including the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution and she is currently a trustee of Stonewall. Catherine is a non-practicing solicitor and an accredited mediator.
Professor Richard Susskind OBE is the world’s most cited author on the future of legal services. He is President of the Society for Computers and Law, Chair of the Advisory Board of the Oxford Internet Institute, and, since 1998, has been Technology Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. The Founder of Remote Courts Worldwide (www.remotecourts.org), he chaired the Online Dispute Resolution Advisory Group of the Civil Justice Council in England and Wales (2014 - 2015) whose proposals on online courts have been adopted as judicial and government policy. Richard’s work has been translated into 15 languages and he has been invited to speak in over 50 countries. He has written numerous books, including The Future of the Law (1996), Transforming the Law (2000), The End of Lawyers? (2008), The Future of the Professions (2015, with D Susskind), Tomorrow’s Lawyers (2013, 2017), and Online Courts and the Future of Justice (2019). In the 1980s, he wrote his doctorate on artificial intelligence and the law at Balliol College, Oxford.
He holds professorships at Oxford University, University College London, Gresham College, and Strathclyde University. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the British Computer Society, and an Honorary Bencher at Gray’s Inn, he was awarded an OBE in 2000.
Francis Xavier was appointed Senior Counsel in January 2009 and practices international commercial and treaty arbitration and litigation. He is actively involved in cross-border commercial disputes in the areas of corporate banking, property, financial and investment related claims. He also specialises in aviation law and advised in the class-action suit resulting from the crash of the SilkAir flight (Indonesia) and the SIA crash (Taiwan).
He is the Chairman of the Listings Appeals Committee, Singapore Stock Exchange and Chairman of the Inquiry Panel of the Law Society of Singapore. He is a member of the Rules Committee, Singapore Academy of Law.
He is the President of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association and current President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). He is a Chartered Arbitrator and also a Past Chairman of CIArb's Singapore Branch.