WilmerHale Counsel Adam Raviv co-organized and spoke at an International Arbitration Conference in Ramallah, Palestine, held on December 8-9, 2013. The event in the Palestinian Territory served as a training and capacity-building conference to teach local lawyers and business leaders about international commercial arbitration. It served as the first occasion where details about the newly launched Jerusalem Arbitration Center (JAC) were presented to a Palestinian audience. Raviv organized the conference alongside Professor Catherine Rogers of Pennsylvania State University's Dickinson School of Law and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Palestine.
The program was a success with more than 75 participants attending the event, including Palestinian lawyers, judges, arbitrators, representatives from the Ministry of Justice, law professors, law students and representatives from the business community. The first day of the conference focused on proposed reforms to the Palestinian Arbitration Law, which would ensure more effective enforcement of international arbitral awards and help build a culture of arbitration in Palestine more generally.
Each session of the second day included substantive presentations and engaged the audience in role-playing exercises based on a mock arbitration case developed by Raviv and Rogers. Event participants negotiated a mock arbitration agreement, selected a potential arbitrator to appoint from among a set of simulated arbitrator bios, debated jurisdictional issues and strategized about evidentiary issues in how to present their case.
"The event was part of a bigger plan to ensure that Palestinians participate effectively in the newly launched JAC," said Raviv. "It was an intensive two days but at the end of the second day, participants were still eager to continue debating the details of the problem—even after the designated end time of the conference."
In addition to Raviv and Rogers, the international faculty attending the event included renowned arbitrator V.V. "Johnny" Veeder, who delivered the keynote address on "International Arbitration as a Gateway to Participation in the International Economy." Also taking part were Professor Christopher R. Drahozal of the University of Kansas, Daniel Reich of Sherman & Sterling in Paris and Professor Stacie Strong of the University of Missouri.
The program laid the foundation for continued collaborations with the ICC Palestine and the Palestinian Ministry of Justice regarding proposed legal reforms, development of educational programs through Palestinian universities, and similar future capacity-building programs.
WilmerHale Counsel Adam Raviv stands with the participants of the International Arbitration Conference in Ramallah, Palestine.