International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICC Sri Lanka) hosted its third annual Arbitration Conference on August 3rd, 2023, at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC Paris) is celebrating 100 years of the ICC International Court of Arbitration this year. Since the inception of the ICC Court in 1923, they have remained at the forefront of supporting global trade and investment through dispute prevention and resolution. ICC Sri Lanka is part of the global ICC network, which is present in more than 170 countries. This year’s Arbitration Conference delved into many topics including the “Advantages & Disadvantages of Arbitration and commercial Mediation in Sri Lanka,” bringing together legal experts, practitioners, scholars, and business leaders to foster insightful discussions.
Speaking about the event, ICC Sri Lanka Chairman Anthony Shanil Fernando said, “This year the ICC Sri Lanka Arbitration Conference was a resounding success. We had over 180 participants with nine eminent local and internationals speakers from Singapore Malaysia and India including Hon Justice Priyantha Jayawardhane PC, who spoke to the audience on the ‘Enforcement Settings Aside from Arbitration Awards’. John Denton Secretary General of ICC Paris and Claudia Salomon President of ICC Court of Arbitration Paris addressed the gathering. Arbitration, an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, has gained prominence in Sri Lanka’s legal landscape. As the country seeks to strengthen its position as a regional hub for international business and investment, understanding the benefits and challenges of arbitration is crucial. One of the Panel discussions was on the Singapore Convention on mediation and the 1958 New York Convention that provides for the excursion of arbitral awards. The conference was a platform to provide a comprehensive analysis of the various facets of arbitration and shed light on its implications for businesses and the legal community.”
The focuses on topics such as the enforcement of arbitral awards, cost-effectiveness, confidentiality, procedural flexibility, and potential challenges. The conference was also a networking opportunity to network leading local and international legal practitioners, arbitrators, business leaders, and government officials, fostering collaborations and facilitating knowledge exchange. The ICC Sri Lanka Arbitration Conference aims to strengthen ties between the legal and business communities by facilitating a dynamic platform for discussion and interaction.
Further commenting on the event Mr Fernando said, “Beyond its core role in trade facilitation, ICC Sri Lanka is actively engaged in matters concerning responsible business conduct, corporate social responsibility, and sustainable development. By championing ethical business practices, ICC emphasises the need for businesses to operate responsibly, considering the well-being of societies and the environment. Ease of international trade is very significant to the world economy as it not only results in increased efficiency but also allows countries to participate in a global economy, encouraging the opportunity for foreign direct investment (FDI). In theory, economies can thus grow more efficiently and become competitive economic participants more easily. Arbitration is a time-honoured method of resolving conflicts started by the ICC 100 years ago.”
The speakers and panellists at the conference included Hon Justice Priyantha Jayawardena, PC, Judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka; Vikum de Abrew, PC, Additional Solicitor General AG’s Department Sri Lanka; Dinal Phillips, PC, Member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration; Viveka Siriwardena, PC, Additional Solicitor General AG’s Department Sri Lanka; Dr Harsha Cabral, PC, Former Member ICC Court of Arbitration; Dato Jude Benny, Founding Partner, Joseph Tan Jude Benny LLP, Tejus Chauhan, Regional Director for South Asia, ICC Arbitration & ADR, ICC Dispute Resolution Services Singapore, Anand Mujmudar Advocate from Gujarat, India and Shanil Fernando AAL, MBA, MSiArb, Chairman ICC Sri Lanka. Foreign panellists were K. Murali Pany, Managing Partner Joseph Tan Jude Benny, Singapore, Alex Ngu, Advocate Sarawak, Malaysia, Anil Changaroth, Co-Head ESG Practice RHTLaw Asia LLP, Singapore. Local Panellists were Chandana Liyanapatabendy PC, Himalie Manathunga, Yasith Hiriburegama, Himali Urugodawatte, Navin Perera, Roshan Madarasinghe, Vindhya Weerasekera, Anuradha Thilakarathne, Dayani Kiriwattuduwa, Chandi de Alwis and S. M. P. Suriyabandara, representing BOI, UDA, RDA, CEB, CIDA, Port City, Aitken Spence, MAGA, Banks and many PLCs. A vote of thanks was given by Hemakumara Gunasekera, Secretary of ICC Sri Lanka.
The ICC Sri Lanka is part of the ICC, bringing international Gold standards that are accepted in most countries. The ICC is present in 170 countries and focuses on the digital economy, sustainability and climate action, global trade, Integrity and good governance. It is the only business organisation to have observer status in the United Nations. ICC was introduced in the 1900s after WWI as a way to facilitate trade investments across countries. In addition, ICC created INCOTERMS, ATA Carnet, Model contracts & clauses, Certificates of Origin, ICC TradeNow, Discover SME360X, ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship, ICC Agri-Food Hubs, ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship (CoE), UCP 600 used in Banks and the Vaccine Pass.
ICC Sri Lanka Arbitration Conference was sponsored by the Colombo Stock Exchange, Aitken Spence PLC, DIMO PLC, National Development Bank PLC, OTR Wheel Lanka Engineering and TAIAN Lanka Steel Company.
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