Economy, Business And Markets

Bonding With Int’l Arbiters

Bonding With Int’l ArbitersBonding With Int’l Arbiters

From the ashes of First World War destruction rose many international bodies seeking to regulate future disputes in a civilized way.

Some have endured the test of time. One of these is the International Court of Arbitration whose president, Alexis Mourre, recently paid a visit to Tehran.

The last time ICC executives visited Iran was in 2007.

“This is the first time I visit Iran as the president of ICA and I hope these relations will continue,” our sister publication Donya-e-Eqtesad quoted Mourre as saying.

The International Chamber of Commerce, which manages ICA, was created with the belief that strengthening commercial ties among nations is not only good for business, but also good for global living standards and peace.

With the advent of sanctions relief, Iran is renewing its cooperation with international bodies for a swift economic recovery. The ICC is one of these key organizations, which sets up rules, resolves disputes and advocates policy.

ICA is the world’s leading body for the resolution of international commercial disputes by arbitration. The court comprises more than 100 members from about 90 countries. ICA has handled more than 500 cases a year since 1999.

“ICC did not sever contact with Iran during the sanctions era and relations with the body were stable. So we believe ICC and ICA should be more active in Iran,” said Mourre.

The Paris-based organization wants Iran to accept ICA arbitration and implement it into contracts signed by Iranian businesses.

ICC Arbitration is a private procedure that leads to a binding and enforceable decision. So in the event that a deal goes sour, judgment and mediation will be left to ICA whose verdict is handed to local authorities of both countries for implementation.

“Iran has always wanted Iranian courts to process business disputes, but this is not acceptable to foreign counterparts,” said secretary-general of ICC’s Iran committee, Mohammad Mehdi Behkish.

However, ICA arbitrations cost more than taking recourse to Iranian courts, but are processed far quicker. Speed is an asset in the business world.

Behkish noted that the cost of arbitration depends greatly on the size of the contract.

ICC’s Iranian committee has 200 members consisting of banks, petrochemical companies and steel producers.

Because its member companies and associations are engaged in international business, ICC has unrivalled authority in making rules that govern the conduct of business across borders.

Although these rules are voluntary, they are observed in countless transactions every day and have become part of international trade.

“Iran has to deregulate to open up its business environment. We can use ICC’s expertise in deregulation,” said Behkish.

In fact, the organization has commissions composed of business experts who examine major issues of interest to the business world. They prepare policy products, including statements to contribute to intergovernmental discussions, as well as rules and codes to facilitate international business transactions.

Eight of ICC’s 12 committees are currently operating in Iran, according to Mohsen Mohebi, ICA Iran’s secretary for legal affairs.

Clearly, Iran has a lot of catching up to do.

“We have not had a good situation regarding arbitration in the past decade,” said Mohebi.  

Implementing ICC rules and practices, along with using the organization’s training courses, is a good start.