Lawyer Monthly - August 2022

WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | AUG 2022 52 THOUGHT LEADER - KUNAL MISHRA Mediating in Marine Construction and Dredging Works Marine construction and dredging is a unique industry within civil engineering. As there are few major players and the industry has its own distinctive concerns, there is a general appetite for amicable dispute resolution that has created a mediation environment vastly different from that seen in other industries. In this feature, Kunal Mishra discusses the necessary considerations for resolving disputes in this sector, along with a broader history of ADR in the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East. concerns. The mediator encourages communication between the parties and ensures that each party feels heard. 4. Private session: Here the parties are given the opportunity to speak privately with the mediator in order to learn about their underlying interests. The goal is to encourage parties to brainstorm and find common ground by exploring options. 5. Negotiation: Here the mediator leads the negotiations with the parties by collecting ideas, proposals and counterproposals to help the parties come to a negotiated settlement of the dispute. 6. Closure: If the parties reach an agreement, the settlement agreement will be drafted and each party will sign it. What are the key statutes relating to mediation of marine construction and dredging works disputes in UAE and internationally? Mediation has its origins in UAE culture through the concept of ‘sulh’ (reconciliation). On 29 April 2021, the UAE issued a landmark decision to implement Federal Law No. 6 / 2021 Can you please outline the overall process involved in mediation in the UAE jurisdiction? Mediation is a less formal, more flexible, time-bound, cost-effective alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process. The typical mediation process that I observed in the UAE comprises the following stages: 1. Opening statement by the mediator: Here the mediator makes an opening statement in which they introduce themselves and allow the parties to do the same. They outline the mediation process and its rules to run it smoothly. The aim is to build a constructive environment conducive to mediation. 2. Opening statements by the disputants: Here the parties to the dispute describe the facts relating to the dispute and its consequences. 3. Joint discussion: Here the mediator provides each party with an opportunity to explain their case and understand each other’s perspectives and Historically, parties have shown an unwillingness to use mediation since there has been a longstanding lack of a robust legal framework and concerns about ‘without prejudice’ communications.

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