March was a turning point for Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in commercial disputes in Egypt and the Arab World. It witnessed the launch of the Arab Mediation Centre (“AMC”), which took place at Sofitel El Gezira, in Cairo. The event included a large number of businessmen, as well as, representatives of the private and public legal sectors in Egypt and the Middle East.
Dr. Ahmed Kosheri, an expert in International arbitration and the head of AMC’s board of trustees, gave the opening speech in the event. During his speech, Dr. Kosheri explained the science of mediation, which is the fastest and most flexible mean to end commercial disputes. He mentioned that, studies conducted by American and European Universities; show that disputes are resolved within one to two days maximum through mediation.
Amongst the attendees was Prof. Richard Birke, a professor at Stanford University and the Executive Director of JAMS Institute in the United States. Prof. Birke gave a lecture on the science of mediation, while highlighting the success of mediation on the international level, and the expected success in Egypt and the Arab World through AMC. Furthermore, Mr. Jay Welsh, the Executive Vice President of JAMS International, gave a speech on mediation, its successful journey in the United States, the various branches of JAMS in Italy, Spain, Serbia, and Korea, and finally the establishment of AMC, the latest affiliate and partner of JAMS international in the Arab World.
It should be noted that, AMC is the exclusive partner and affiliate of JAMS international, which is the most prominent internationally in the field of mediation; the most effective and successful mean to resolve disputes. JAMS has been involved in mediation, in the United States, since 1979.
AMC was established through a collaboration between a group of Judges and Arab jurists, who were brought together by their legal knowledge, legislative and judicial experience, their familiarity with comparative legislations, and their different judicial experiences. Moreover, those collaborators have a common belief and faith in the importance of mediation in resolving disputes away from the traditional legal process and its old obstacles that prevent parties from reaching the highest level of justice.
AMC’s board of trustees will work on achieving the center’s goals. Dr. Kosheiry is the head of the board of trusties, which consists of, Dr. Khaled El Shalakany, Dr. Sameh Abdelaziz, Dr. Khaled Attia, and Ms. Nehdal El Hmidan (Kuwait). An advisory board, headed by Mr. Jay Welsh, will be assisting the board of trustees. The advisory board includes several jurists and academics from Scotland, the United States, and Egypt.
AMC’s members believe that “mediation” has the ability to improve, develop, and enhance the quality of justice, in a manner that will fulfill the needs and aspirations of the parties in dispute, while taking into consideration the general principles of fairness and the rule of law. AMC aims at establishing and spreading the culture of “accepting alternative dispute resolution mechanisms” in the Arab World, through providing legal mediation services that coincide with the international standards followed within the field. This will be achieved via creating a strong qualified network of Arab legal mediators, who will receive continuous special trainings. Furthermore, AMC aims at developing and enriching the Arab Legal Library by way of supplying it with studies and researches focused on mediation and alterative dispute resolution mechanisms. Such studies and researches will be in Arabic.
In order to spread the mediation culture and create a general awareness of same, AMC in coordination with JAMS International, will create an encouraging environment for legal mediation. For such purposes, AMC will convene a series of consecutive events that aim at introducing the role of mediation and its importance. The events will be organized in collaboration with governments, NGOs, nonprofit organizations, as well as, the private sector in Egypt and the Arab World.
AMC’s opening ceremony was attended by a large number of; representatives of International Banks, operating in Egypt and the Arab World; Multinational Companies working in petroleum, construction, insurance, and the industrial sector; representatives from the legal departments of the aforementioned companies; and several Arab jurists from the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.