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New alternative dispute resolution centre debuts


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  • Ceylon Chamber and ICLP join to promote arbitration and contract enforcement 
  • Alternative dispute resolution expected to make SL more attractive to investors 
  • Centre to improve awareness, conduct workshops and academic courses  

By Divya Thotawatte

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), in partnership with the Institute for the Development of Commercial Law and Practice (ICLP), yesterday launched the CCC-ICLP Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centre to promote efficient commercial dispute resolution and by extension attract investment.

CCCCEO Dhara Wijaya-tilake, speaking on the potential of ADR, said: “This is a joint initiative of the CCC and ICLP for the development of commercial law and linked practices. The main purpose is to provide services outside the courts of law for the resolution of commercial disputes. We have the adversarial procedure that’s followed in the courts and ADR has become popular all over the world because of the potential it offers to deal with the twin evils of the litigation system that causedelays and is expensive.” 

The centre will consist of a fully-trained panel of arbitrators and mediators who will function to deal with commercial dispute resolution. 

“Putting this in perspective, if we look at the ease of doing business, when it comes to contract enforcement, we are very poor and we have a huge challenge to increase our contract enforcement regime. So this centre will help do that as well because investors are not going to come here if they do not see a good, stable, sensible regime which deals with dispute resolution because contract enforcement is important to an investor,” she elaborated.

The centre will provide mechanisms to deal with commercial disputes such as providing a system for the accreditation of arbitrators and mediators and other resource persons.It will also promotethe awareness of ADR including seminars and workshops and conducting academic courses on ADR. 

US Acting Ambassador Robert Hilton, speaking on the efficiency of ADR, said: “This centre is an enormous step for Sri Lanka in promoting economic activity, and attracting investment, providing businesses and investors with a stable and efficient way to handle commercial disputes.”  

He also added that ADR mechanisms allow businesses to solve disputes in an inexpensive, confidential and timely manner. He said that ADR promoted amiable dealings for investors and businesses and created an atmosphere that was conducive to commercial activities. 

“We have been very much at the forefront of arbitration in Sri Lanka and we have our own rules of arbitration so we’re the only institutionalised arbitration body in Sri Lanka.We are moving onto a new area of interest which is mediation. Mediation is an area which has not been promoted in SL and we hope that this partnership will take it forward,”President’s Counsel and ICLP Co-founder Dr. K. Kanag-Iswaran stated. – Pix by Indraratne Balasuriya


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