The Foundation for International Commercial Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (SICA-FICA)

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[edit] General Information

  • Official name: The Foundation for International Commercial Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (SICA-FICA)
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • City: Kent
  • Type of organization: Foundation
  • Date of creation: 1998
  • Interests: Arbitration - Mediation - Training
  • Fields of expertise: International Commercial Disputes

[edit] Overview

“SICA ® -FICA ® is a charitable foundation, based in The Hague, for the promotion and maintenance of best standards in international commercial conflict management, including good governance.

SICA-FICA ® is dedicated to advancing the principles of fairness, equality, impartiality, independence and other rules of Natural Justice as well as raising the standards and quality of Dispute Resolution and Governance throughout the world”.

[edit] Origin

“A group of arbitrators and mediators first met in 1996 to consider the nature of the problems facing international dispute resolution. This led, on 12 August 1998, to the creation of a new, independent organisation to represent nation states from all the world’s regions and to promote the best standards of practice in international dispute resolution and conflict management.

SICA-FICA is an international Charitable Foundation established under the laws of The Netherlands with its seat in The Hague. It is dedicated to the promotion of excellence in Arbitration, Alternative Dispute Resolution and related aspects of Good Governance through education and training. Its efforts are concentrated in the developing world.

SICA-FICA operates either directly, through or in association with National Charities, Educational Institutions, affiliated Foundations and other organisations with compatible objectives throughout the World. It is unique in being the only international organisation whose central remit is on-the-ground commercial dispute-resolution training within the developing world.

SICA-FICA identifies specific needs for education and training through the auspices of its Patrons, associated organisations and local supporters. Proposals are detailed to address these needs and, through sponsorship, teams of international experts are provided to advise and present training courses as required. In February 2005, Ian Pyper handed over as Chairman to Volker Heinz. Ian remains on the Board of Commissioners as he retires to his native British Columbia. He was the prime instigator for the setting up of the Foundation and has firmly led its progress through difficult early stages. We wish Ian a long and happy retirement close to his family while his advice will continue to be available to us. His experience of South-East Asia prompted our initial work in Indonesia and, thanks to his good counsel and assistance, we hope to build on this base to establish a Centre of Excellence for Dispute Resolution there in the near future.

This occasion also marks a significant point in our operations. Under Ian’s guidance, we have reviewed our approach to making our work available generally. We are now actively encouraging like-minded individuals to set up their own organisations to reflect our philosophy in their particular localities. Each of these will have access to the Boards of the Foundation, its Patrons, Academic Council, Training & Education Committee and Faculty and can call on the Foundation for assistance in mounting training events. We believe that regional autonomous participation will confirm long-term commitment and continuity within the collective ethos.

As of March 2005, three such organisations are under active consideration, in El Salvador, India and Indonesia”.

[edit] Conflict Management

Conflict is a word that usually has negative overtones which make us shy away from it; yet it is a major influence in personal fulfillment.

Conflict is a fact of life. It is a consequence of avoiding the non-fulfilling behaviour of isolation and it is inevitable when people come together. This does not have to be negative, since the management or resolution of conflict can lead to growth, development and progress.

Conflict is often the source of dramatic improvement in personal circumstances, group situations and communities of all types.

SICA-FICA undertakes education and training programmes in conflict management generally, and renders specific advice in the fields of Arbitration, Mediation & Conciliation, other methods of Alternate Dispute Resolution, the "Ombudsman" concepts and Good Governance.

[edit] Arbitration

Arbitration is the preferred method for the final resolution of international commercial disputes. It can proceed quickly without delay and arbitral awards are more effective than national court judgements, being enforceable in over 130 countries under the New York Convention of the United Nations.

SICA-FICA has a comprehensive programme in arbitration ranging from 2 to 3 day introductory courses through distance learning modules to a university-recognised Diploma covering all the main topics in depth.

[edit] Mediation & Conciliation

Where parties wish to keep control of their disputes and decide among themselves, mediation or conciliation is recognised as a cost effective and expedient method for resolution without recourse to expensive and lengthy pursuit through arbitration or courts.

SICA-FICA offers a full training programme in international commercial mediation.

[edit] Alternative Dispute Resolution

SICA-FICA also advises on and trains in the range of other commercial methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution including negotiation, facilitation, expert appraisal or evaluation, arb-med and med-arb, adjudication, mini-trial, rent-a-judge, court-referrals to mediation or arbitration and programmes of preventative conflict management.

  • Facilitation
  • Assisted Negotiation
  • Early Neutral Evaluation
  • Fast-track Arbitration
  • Med-Arb
  • Arb-Med
  • Mini-trial
  • Summary Jury Trial
  • Moderated Settlement Conference
  • Rent-a-judge or Private Judging
  • Court Referrals

[edit] Ombudsman Concepts

Under the principle of 'access to justice', Ombudsman or Independent Claims Review schemes deal fairly with claims by individuals against government departments or large organisations.

These processes have been introduced effectively in many countries around the world with significant success.

SICA-FICA advises and trains in the setting up and operation of all types: governmental, private, advisory and binding.

[edit] Good Governance

Matters relating to good governance are recognised as essential requirements, especially in developing countries, to ensure social stability and to promote a sound basis and system of legal infrastructure. The Foundation's programme of activities includes:

  • Assessing and recommending on matters of parliamentary and legislative structures, rules and procedure, justice and court structures and systems and legislative drafting;
  • Training and education for public servants;
  • Advising on Accession Issues and Strategies for Country admission to International Trade and Political Groups such as the World Bank, the IMF, the World Trade Organisation, the European Union, NAFTA;
  • Encouraging citizen participation through public policy dialogues and the use of focus groups;
  • Project efficiency by way of public enterprise restructuring, public-private partnerships, private funding of infrastructure, strategic management of projects and post privatization control;
  • Bank restructuring and governance;
  • International networking;
  • Government information provision and dissemination;
  • Advising on and assisting in the establishment of Educational Centres of Excellence to educate and train in all aspects of "Good Governance".

[edit] Training & Education

SICA-FICA’s Training & Education policy is:

  • To address the processes for international commercial dispute resolution and consider the needs of all those involved, especially users
  • To provide supporting library facilities with electronic access
  • To supplement all training areas with an active research programme
  • To provide the most appropriate, full and accurate training courses and materials, continually updated
  • By emphasis on apprenticeship by pupillage, coaching and mentoring
  • By the use of comparisons; of laws, of dispute resolution processes and of cultures
  • By using a flexible combination of innovative technological methods as well as those that are tried and tested
  • By responding speedily to the needs of commerce to arrange new and relevant training courses

SICA-FICA’s training programme is concentrated on the developing world. The training programme is available to all including users and advocates as well as arbitrators, mediators, conciliators and the judiciary.

This comprehensive programme is adaptable to particular needs in any jurisdiction. The full programme is available for presentation worldwide through courses on location and through distance-learning.

It is SICA-FICA's policy to co-operate with like-minded organisations, including those that appoint arbitrators, mediators or conciliators and/or administer arbitrations, mediations or conciliations, though SICA-FICA does not itself provide appointing or administration services.

SICA-FICA’s aim is to serve these dispute resolution processes through standards, training and education and its education policy is to address all relevant elements in international conflict management, including:

  • Introduction to Methods of Private Dispute Resolution
  • Theory & Practice of Mediation, Conciliation & ADR Processes
  • Theory & Practice of Ombudsman Schemes
  • Theory & Practice in Good Governance
  • Comparative Arbitration, Conciliation & Mediation Codes
  • The International Dispute Resolution Environment, including the New York Convention of 1958 and UNCITRAL Rules & Model Laws
  • Theory & Practice of International Commercial Arbitration
  • The Art of Making Judicial Decisions
  • Theory & Practice in Writing an Arbitral Award
  • Resolution of Disputes in Specialist Fields

[edit] Advisory Services

SICA-FICA, through its subsidiary and associate organisations, responds positively to requests from interested parties for consulting services related to conflict management and dispute resolution.

This service is available worldwide and includes advising on setting up Arbitration & Conciliation Centres, Ombudsman Schemes and assisting in drafting new laws on commercial dispute resolution processes.

In association with other organisations SICA-FICA is currently preparing a proposal for advising on training services and institutions for conflict management and good governance in India, Indonesia and Central America with regard to its new policy for decentralization.

[edit] What SICA-FICA Doesn't Do

  • Appointment of Arbitrators, Mediators &c
  • Administer arbitrations, Mediations &c
  • Represent Other Organisations
  • Compete with other, established Training & Education Programmes

[edit] Contact

2 Starnes Court, 23a Union Street, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1EB - United Kingdom

Tel/Fax: +44 (0)1622 670 320


Official Website

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