Virtual Roundtable 2020 Series – “Tales of Conflict and the Role of Mediation” Successfully Held
International commercial mediation is an efficient and convenient way to solve disputes. The signing of United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (Singapore Convention on Mediation) has promoted the wide application of mediation in the settlement of international commercial disputes and ensured that enterprises can resolve international commercial disputes through mediation.
In this context, on 11 August 2020, the first joint virtual round-table meeting was successfully held on the theme of “Tales of Conflict and the Role of Mediation" jointly organized by Hainan International Arbitration Court International Mediation Center with the International Dispute Resolution Academy ("IDRA") and the 39 Essex Chambers. This event attracts many participants from all over the world to watch and participate online. The Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association Legal Affair Steering Committee is the supporting organization.
Wang Xuelin, Chairman of Hainan International Arbitration Court ("HIAC"); Michael Hwang, HIAC Board Member and IDRA President; Lin Ningbo, Secretary General of HIAC; Dr. Fan Yang, IDRA Director; Neil Block QC and Adrian Hughes QC, from 39 Essex Chambers; May Tai, Managing Partners, Asia, Herbert Smith Freehills, participated in the virtual round table meeting jointly.
Chairman Wang Xuelin delivered an opening speech for the meeting. He pointed out that with the approval and support of the Central Government, Hainan now is forging to be the biggest free trade port (FTP), and open to global investment. The establishment of the HIAC International Mediation Center is the ancillary arrangement for the construction of the Hainan FTP. There are certain differences in the understanding and operation of mediation procedure between domestic and foreign countries. HIAC International Mediation Center, IDRA and 39 Essex Chambers have invited experts from the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore to share their mediation stories and exchange their wisdom and experience on dispute resolution, which have great significance.
The Secretary-General Lin Ningbo shared the mediation cases handled by HIAC. He noted that the most important and challenging task in the mediation process was to understand the psychological bottom line of the parties. According to the current mediation law and practice of the People's Republic of China, the mediator shall ascertain the facts of the disputes and explain the relevant legal basis and legal consequences to the parties. Independent commercial mediation is a relatively new form in domestic mediation system and practice. It can operate independently from the litigation or arbitration procedure of commercial disputes.
In the closing remarks, Michael Hwang pointed out that the meeting made people aware of the similarities and differences of mediation between mainland and outside China, and sincerely hoped that HIAC, IDRA and 39 Essex Chambers would continue to jointly promote and organize various mediation trainings to promote mainland mediators to have more and better understanding and application of international procedures and skills, and to enable overseas members to have more and better understanding of the relationship among mediation procedures, court procedures and arbitration procedures in China. Different mediators need to use different skills. A good mediator, the most important thing is to understand the parties, to meet the needs of the parties, and to resolve their disputes.
Dr. Fan Yang presided over the whole meeting. This conference is substantial, professional and practical. Around relevant topics, the guest speakers share their mediation stories, opinions and experience from the perspective of attorney and mediator as well as exchange and discuss relevant issues with the online audiences, which have promoted the exchange and communication between domestic and international mediation practitioners.
At present, the role of commercial mediation in resolving commercial disputes is becoming more and more obvious, and the exchange of civil and commercial dispute resolution mechanism has high practical value. The online roundtable meeting is one of a series of joint virtual webinar. HIAC will continue to link commercial arbitration and mediation participants through a platform for communication and discussion. Sincerely welcome to participate and continue to stay tuned in HIAC activities.