Minister and Chapter discuss opportunities for alternative dispute resolution in the energy sector
The Northern Chapter of The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) chaired by Derek Auchie, senior lecturer in Law at Robert Gordon University, last week met with Roseanna Cunningham, Scotland's Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs.
The topic under discussion was the use of dispute resolution in the energy sector in Scotland as well as new opportunities presented by the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Scottish Arbitration Centre.
The meeting, held at Paull and Williamsons' Aberdeen office, was also attended by representatives of the CIArb Northern Chapter and Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive of the newly set up Scottish Arbitration Centre.
Arbitration is a commercial, cost effective and confidential method of resolving disputes. The Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 bestows a modern, innovative arbitration regime that aims to incorporate the best of arbitral practice from around the world to provide a statutory framework for domestic and international arbitration in Scotland.
The Minister keenly supported the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 and, during the meeting, placed an emphasis on benefits including confidentiality and the lower costs of arbitration which can be achieved, whilst recognising the distinctive and mature Scottish legal system.
Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Roseanna Cunningham said:
"The Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 has been hailed as a world-leading piece of legislation which represents the best of modern arbitral practice. We want to make sure individuals and companies within the energy sector, amongst others, can be sure that any dispute will be handled in a cost effective and just manner in Scotland where the heart of many of these industries lie."
Derek reinforced arbitration in Scotland saying: "Feedback to the CIArb Chapter from local Oil & Gas professionals indicates a tradition of settling disputes in London via litigation and an assumption that arbitration is slow and expensive. The Act and new arbitration centre will bolster Scotland's reputation and change the perception of how arbitration can be managed north of the border."
The Minister has committed to encourage parties to consider adopting arbitration to resolve disputes rather than litigation, and to do so in Scotland.
Roseanna Cunningham, Scotland's Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, with Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Arbitration Centre and members of The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Northern Chapter.
Notes to editors
• The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) is a not-for-profit, UK registered charity working in the public interest through an international network of branches. It has a global membership of around 12,000 individuals who have professional training in private dispute resolution.
The Northern Chapter is based in Aberdeen with a committee. The Chapter runs regular events in the area of dispute resolution and promotes the work of the Institute locally.
• Derek Auchie is a senior lecturer in law at Robert Gordon University and a qualified solicitor. Prior to joining the Department of Law he practised in both civil and criminal litigation work in a wide range of Scottish public courts and tribunals. He sits on two public tribunals. He teaches the law of arbitration.
• The Scottish Arbitration Centre promotes arbitration as a method of dispute resolution within Scotland as well as promoting Scottish arbitration to the world, providing suites in Edinburgh that are available to hire for arbitrations, mediations and other dispute hearings, and for conferences and meetings regarding alternative dispute resolution. www.scottisharbitrationcentre.org
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