Qatar International Centre for Conciliation and Arbitration (QICCA) board member for international relations HE Dr. Sheikh Thani bin Ali al-Thani said that the current period is witnessing a noticeable increase in resolving arbitration disputes via the Internet due to the increasing requirements of the times or in order to get out of the repercussions of the current global pandemic.
During his participation in a regional seminar organised by the Law Ambassadors' Initiative through the video conference technology Monday, entitled "The impact of coronavirus crisis on international arbitration", Dr Sheikh Thani bin Ali al-Thani said that electronic arbitration is one of the alternative means of settling commercial disputes, as it is an agreed method for subjecting the dispute that arises or emanated from an electronic or ordinary commercial relationship to arbitration with electronic procedures and means to shorten time and space. The seminar discussed the adjudication of arbitration cases remotely using modern methods such as electronic arbitration in light of the current coronavirus crisis.
He indicated that the arbitration is carried out in accordance with the principles of the Seoul Protocol, which was characterized by procedures that keep pace with the times and the progress of the event, noting that electronic arbitration is seen as a quick means to resolve a dispute and reduce expenses as well as provide more opportunities for selecting arbitrators and bypassing the problem of judicial jurisdiction and conflict of laws, and establishes the principle of transcending time and space in law.
At the same time, Dr Sheikh Thani bin Ali al-Thani pointed out that there are some defects or obstacles with regard to electronic arbitration such as lack of acceptance by those who do not know how to use technology, in addition to fear of non-confidentiality "piracy" and the inadequacy of some internal and international legislation to electronic arbitration, as well as some procedural and substantive obstacles raised by some people.
He stressed the need to consolidate laws to deal with electronic arbitration due to the absence of organised national legislative texts, noting also the necessity of holding conferences and seminars to introduce this type of arbitration, and the new definitions that derive from it; such as amputated arbitration, amputated body, new normal situation and cybersecurity.
Dr Sheikh Thani bin Ali al-Thani stressed the important and expected role of the courts and judges in light of the issuance of arbitration rules that were made remotely and were issued under the weight of different time and place.