IBA Hosts Seminar on Future of Dispute Resolution in Pakistan
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IBA Hosts Seminar on Future of Dispute Resolution in Pakistan

Seminar on Future of Dispute Resolution in Pakistan

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi, in collaboration with the Singapore International Mediation Center (SIMC) and the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, successfully hosted a seminar titled “The Future of Dispute Resolution in Pakistan: Embracing the Singapore Convention on Mediation and Green ADR.” The event took place at the National Institute of Banking and Finance (NIBAF) in Islamabad, gathering distinguished legal experts, climate change advocates, and key stakeholders to explore the future of dispute resolution in Pakistan with a focus on mediation and sustainable practices.

Kamran Bilgrami, Director of IBA-CEE and a SIMI Accredited Mediator, delivered the welcome address, setting an engaging and informative tone for the session. Eric Ives, Attorney Advisor for CLDP, U.S. Department of Commerce, shared insights into the U.S. government’s support for Pakistan’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) movement. Sidharth Jha, Legal Counsel at SIMC, provided an enlightening explanation of the Singapore Convention on Mediation.

Amin Lakhani, Honorary Consulate General to Singapore in Pakistan, offered his perspective on the convention, while Dr. S Akbar Zaidi, Executive Director of IBA Karachi, highlighted the ADR initiatives by IBA and expressed commitment to the future of ADR in Pakistan through the IBA ADR International Center (IBA ADRIC).

A significant milestone of the seminar was the signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) between IBA ADRIC and key Pakistani institutions, including the Ministry of Law and Justice, the Directorate of Legal Education, Pakistan Bar Council, and the Islamabad Bar Council.

The seminar’s second part focused on “Green ADR for Sustainability.” Syed Bulent Sohail, Attorney-Adviser to IBA ADRIC and a SIMI Accredited Mediator, introduced the concept of Green ADR, emphasizing its core principles and environmental benefits. This session featured an engaging panel discussion on climate change and ADR, with contributions from prominent experts like Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, Dr. Jo DeLaGarza-Chitlik, Muzzafar Ahmed Mirza, Saima Kamilla Khan, Iqra Mussadaq, Dr. Mobeen Shah, Sibah Farooq Advocate, and Barrister Zunaira Fayyaz. They discussed practical ways to adopt and institutionalize Green ADR in Pakistan, emphasizing the necessity of expanding existing laws to address contemporary environmental challenges adequately.

Justice Jawad Hassan of the Lahore High Court, in his concluding address, highlighted the superior judiciary’s pro-mediation stance, stressing the urgent need for Pakistan to ratify the Singapore Convention. Chief Guest Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the Supreme Court of Pakistan delivered a keynote address, revealing alarming statistics about pending cases in Pakistan’s judiciary. He advocated for a paradigm shift in the justice system, proposing a sequence from negotiation to mediation to arbitration, with courts as the final recourse.

The seminar also emphasized the importance of raising awareness and ongoing training initiatives to transform Pakistan’s dispute resolution landscape. Raza Chinoy, COO of EcoPack Ltd. and President of the IBA Alumni Islamabad Chapter, delivered the vote of thanks, expressing gratitude to all participants and organizers.

The seminar concluded with a networking tea, providing attendees an opportunity to connect and discuss the evening’s insights. This event marks a significant step forward in promoting mediation and sustainable dispute resolution practices in Pakistan, paving the way for a more efficient and environmentally conscious legal framework.

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