10 Mar 2020
On 5 March 2020, CIArb’s East Anglia Branch held its Annual Cambridge Surgery at Bar Hill in Cambridge, a day-long event covering the full spectrum of issues confronting dispute resolvers. This is a highly successful meeting typically attended by 65 delegates from civil engineers, general practice and quantity surveyors, lecturers, consultants, barristers and lawyers. Some came from as far afield as Cardiff, Ireland and Nigeria! The event consisted of a combination of talks and presentations and discussion groups. It is a refresher for those practising in all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution and attracts both experienced practitioners and beginners in dispute resolution.
Branch Chairman, Dr Al Jarratt FCIArb, started the day with asking the delegates to observe a minute’s silence to pay a tribute to one of the branch’s past chairmen, Ian Lowther FCIArb, who sadly died on 31 August 2019. He also emphasised the government and Chief Medical Officer’s advice on the coronavirus concerning any delegates present who may have visited countries in Categories 1 and 2 in the last fourteen days.
A talk then followed by Tony Bingham C.Arb FCIArb, a well-known barrister, arbitrator and adjudicator on his usual crop of real difficulties that dispute resolvers encounter in their normal work. He succinctly and humorously dealt with wide-ranging problems affecting expert witnesses, arbitrators and adjudicators. He engaged the delegates with a string of questions and challenging scenarios. He was joined by another of the branch’s regular speakers, John Riches FCIArb who is an arbitrator and adjudicator. His depth of knowledge and experience made for an excellent set of inquisitive questions involving many of the delegates.
Dr Al Jarratt gave an insight into the mediation world both in the UK and internationally. He got the delegates working on a tricky real mediation that he had previously settled. He also used slides to explain the background work of the UNCITRAL’s Working Group II (Arbitration and Conciliation) that led to the birth of the ‘United Nations Convention of International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation’ (the Singapore Convention). He also explained the key articles of the Convention.
Our final speaker, David Cowen, a Senior Law Lecturer from Ireland, talked extensively on human characteristics and behaviour with particular focus on communication. This goes to the heart of the work of dispute resolvers and parties in dispute.
The day finished with the Chairman expressing his thanks for the speakers for the excellent talks and the way that they engaged the delegates. He invited the delegates to show their appreciation of yet another very successful Cambridge Surgery. It was evident that everyone was looking forward to the 21st Surgery next year.
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