Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr Partner Gary Born and other prominent international and Palestinian scholars and experts conducted a conference on international arbitration on December 8 in Ramallah, Palestine. The conference featured an intensive workshop on the legal framework and procedures in international arbitration. Well-attended by Palestinian and other lawyers, businesspeople, judges, law professors and law students, as well as officials from various ministries, NGOs and foreign consulates, the event laid the groundwork for collaboration between the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Palestine and the ICC Israel in the newly founded Jerusalem Arbitration Center (JAC).
Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad opened the event, which was hosted by Penn State Law and the ICC Palestine, and co-sponsored by Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr and others. Fayyad remarked: “Local knowledge and support of arbitration will open new opportunities for the Palestinian economy to attract foreign investment.”
Born, a featured speaker at the conference, presented on “How to Draft an Arbitration Clause” and “The Law Governing the Arbitration and the Role of Mandatory Law.” Among other things, Born explained that “international arbitration permits the resolution of international disputes on the basis of neutrality, equality, expertise and efficiency.” Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr also donated a number of publications to the ICC Palestine as part of an effort to build an English-language library of international arbitration sources that are otherwise not available to Palestinians.
The JAC was formed to use arbitration to resolve commercial disputes between Israelis and Palestinians that arise out of the estimated $4 billion in trade annually between them. The center is a joint venture between the ICC branches in Israel and Palestine. Although the ICC Israel is long-established, the ICC Palestine was founded earlier this year. With the creation of the JAC and increasing foreign investment in the region, the conference was an important starting point for further developments in dispute resolution.
Born is chair of the firm’s International Arbitration Group and is widely regarded as the world's preeminent authority on international commercial arbitration and international litigation. He is the author of leading works on international arbitration, including International Commercial Arbitration (Kluwer 2009), the leading treatise in the field, which has received the American Society of International Law’s Certificate of Merit for High Technical Craftsmanship and OGEMID’s Book of the Year award for 2009. He has been ranked for the past decade as one of the world's leading international arbitration practitioners and the leading arbitration practitioner in London.