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Practice Building Workshop 2010 at the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC)

From September 20 to September 22, 2010 Professor Berger held another practice & skills building workshop at the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) in Dubai, U.A.E.  Co-Workshop leader of this year’s course was Victor Leginsky, a Canadian lawyer practicing in Dubai and a registered DIAC arbitrator with a profound experience in domestic and international arbitration. The participants were practicing lawyers and engineers from jurisdictions such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, England, Canada and Germany.

Based on Professor Berger’s practical Case Study and arbitration training videos, the participants received an insight into the practical aspects of an international arbitration from the drafting of the statement of claim and the appointment of the members of the tribunal, the case management by the arbitrators, the organization and conduct of the hearing, the interviewing of witnesses and the production of documents up to of the internal dynamics of the deliberations of the tribunal, practical aspects of dissenting opinions and the correction of the operative part of the final award as well as additional awards on costs. Special problems related to set-off defenses and counterclaims were also covered. 

A major emphasis of the course was on the art of advocacy in international arbitration. Opening statements, cross-examination of witnesses, procedural requests for the production of documents and the appearance as members of an international arbitral tribunal tested the practical skills of the participants. Those participants who volunteered to act as chairperson and co-arbitrators of the tribunal during the simulated hearings which took place throughout the workshop received practical tips and know-how from Victor Leginsky while their colleagues prepared opening statements in separate group work sessions under the supervision of Professor Berger.

The new 2010 Edition of the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration formed the basis of the evidence phase of the workshop.  Among the issues which formed the subject of intense discussions between the workshop leaders and the participants were the prerequisites of a “Request to Produce” under Art. 3 of the IBA Rules, the nature and effect of privilege-objections under Art. 9 (2) and (3) of the IBA Rules and techniques to ensure the confidentiality of documents produced by one side during an arbitration.

The Workshop ended with a graduation ceremony and reception to honor the participants by awarding them with certificates of attendance. The ceremony took place at the Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel and was presided over by Dr. Hadif Al-Owais, Acting Director of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre.

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