On 30 April 2020, Dr. Ismail Selim, Director of CRCICA, delivered a webinar titled “Arbitration after the Outbreak of COVID-19” over zoom and was simultaneously broadcasted over “Facebook”. The lecture was attended by 39 people on Zoom and more than 600 people on Facebook mainly form Jordan. The lecture was organized by the International Specialized Lawyers and Philadelphia University (Jordan) and was moderated by Dr. Oussama Moussa EL Bitar, Managing Attorney at International Specialized Lawyers, Jordan.
Dr. Selim outlined the impact of the outbreak of the COVID-19 on arbitration and provided an economic standpoint on the Arab countries post the COVID-19. He focused on the negative effects of the COVID-19 on arbitration such as the difficulty to travel and attending arbitration hearings, as well as the difficulties that parties meet in paying the arbitration costs in some cases. Dr. Selim also shed light on the escalating need to use modern technology to face in arbitration and to resort to relevant guidelines in the coming period, such as the “Seoul Protocol on Video Conferencing in International Arbitration” and the ICCA-NYC Bar-CPR Protocol on Cybersecurity in International Arbitration. Dr. Selim further discussed the measures implemented by arbitration institutions to facilitate the handling of arbitration cases under COVID-19. He delivered remarks on the use of video-conferencing in arbitration, its pros and cons, and gave general remarks on the use of other means of technology. Further, Dr. Selim discussed how COVID-19 may be characterized on a case by case basis (depending on its effect) either as a “force majeure” or an incident governed by the “théorie de l’imprévision” under Jordanian Law or as a factual event not governed by any of those two doctrines. Dr. Selim then discussed the consequences after the end of the COVID-19 on investment and construction disputes and the evolution of arbitration through the use of modern technology (Online dispute resolution). Dr. Selim concluded by giving a brief on CRCICA’s background and activities. Lively questions and answers followed the lecture reflecting the keen interest of the audience in the topic.