ARBITRATION MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION
Going to Courts is not the only method for resolving disputes. The high costs, long delay, aggravations and loss of privacy involved are just few reasons why more and more people with disputes are turning to more effective ways to settle their differences through ADS (Alternate Dispute Resolution). Arbitration is a mode of settling disputes by referring them to a nominated person, who decides the issues in a quasi-judicial manner after hearing both sides. Conciliation and Mediation are terms often used interchangeably and they are together referred to as mediation. Both involve the appointment of a third party to assist the disputing parties to reach a settlement of their differences. Mediation is a process in which a neutral third person, the mediator encourages and facilitate the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties, by helping the disputing parities to reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement, i.e. the mediator is not given any power to impose a settlement.
ARBITRATION – OMANI PERSPECTIVE
Arbitration as an alternate dispute resolution system in all its modern concepts and practice actually commenced in Oman in the mid-eighties, along side with the renaissance that changed the political, social, economic & judicial scenario of the country. Later on, to consolidate and amend the prevailing law, a much more comprehensive and elaborate enactment was brought in the year 1997 by the Royal Decree No: 47/97, which derived most of its provisions from the Standard Law of International Commercial Arbitration, laid down by the UN Commission on International Trade (UNCITRAL) Law. This Royal Decree titled as “Law of Arbitration in Civil and Commercial Disputes” paved the way for advanced leaps in arbitration, commensurating with the laws and procedures that are followed in the rest of the world nations. The present law titled, as “Law of Arbitration in Civil and Commercial Disputes” consists of seven chapters, dealing on General Provisions, Arbitration Agreement, Arbitration Board, Arbitration Proceedings, Arbitration Award & winding up proceedings, Nullification of Arbitration Award, Enforcement of Arbitration Awards respectively.
The law also recognizes the enforcement of foreign arbitral decisions in the Sultanate. Article (352) and (355) of the Civil & Commercial Procedural Law lays down the procedures to be followed in the matter of enforcing judgements/orders/arbitral decisions issued by a foreign jurisdiction in the Sultanate of Oman. In the matter of enforcing a foreign judgement/arbitration award, an application to that effect ought to be made to the Primary Court comprising of three judges panel and the procedure will be the same as for filing a case in that court while article (355) stipulates that these provisions do not violate the provisions of the treaties signed in this behalf between the Sultanate of Oman and other countries.
We at Hafedh Al Mahrouqi & Co assists parties to choose the best available mode for resolving their disputes by way of mediation, conciliation or through arbitration, whether it be contractual or not. More and more people are resorting to Arbitration these days for resolving their disputes. Arbitration awards are final and binding on the parties and is equivalent to a decree passed by a Court of Law and can only be challenged or set aside in very exceptional circumstances, as provided under the Arbitration law, while the adjudication process itself is less expensive, faster and has simpler procedural and evidence rules making it more user friendly, with flexibility in scheduling times and places for hearings, at the same time being less disruptive to ongoing and future business dealings among parties. The year 2005 also witnessed the appointment of this office as the representative of GCC Arbitration Commercial Centre in the Sultanate.