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Speech by The Rt Hon. The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd: Commercial dispute resolution – courts and arbitration

|Speeches|Lord Thomas

In three lectures I have given over the past year I have tried to set out the issues facing Commercial Courts in this changing world.

  • In Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, at the DIFC courts, I spoke of the importance of the Commercial Courts meeting the needs of the world of today, what I described as our global village, in its interconnected economies and the digital revolution; how this would strengthen the rule of law which underpins our prosperity and economic development. I made some tentative suggestions as to steps that could be taken to improve the legal framework for global business and markets through cooperation between Commercial Courts.  I covered the need for judge led reform, the personnel and processes required to make courts successful, and the necessity to keep the law up to date.
  • In Singapore, I spoke of the way in which Commercial Courts should work together to reform court procedure and to use the opportunity of the digital revolution radically to recast procedure, to aim for a single generic code usable in all proceedings and to work together on a transnational basis towards convergence of a procedural system for all international civil disputes.
  • In the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, I spoke of international Commercial Courts owing a duty to work together to underpin the rule of law internationally, but yet competing against each other to offer the best law and the best dispute resolution centre. Both worked together to meet the needs of domestic and international business.

Today in Beijing, I want, in the context of the necessity to respond to change, to speak about how we ensure that Commercial Courts and arbitral centres work together to enhance expert, efficient and cost-effective commercial dispute resolution and to keep the law up to date. The importance of this goes far beyond the resolution of particular disputes.  By bringing order to commerce and finance, a sound system of commercial dispute resolution helps to give the stability that is essential to the peace and prosperity of all our societies.

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