09 Nov 2011

Clayton Utz hosts 10th annual International Arbitration lecture

Sydney, 09 November 2011: Clayton Utz, supported by the University of Sydney, has hosted the 10th annual International Arbitration lecture at the Federal Court - Ceremonial Court.

Eminent international arbitrator and leading middle eastern lawyer Essam Al Tamimi delivered this year's lecture, in which he spoke on the scope for Sharia in international arbitration; on the extent that Sharia is applicable to international arbitration, either directly or through modern laws; and on whether Sharia can be considered as equivalent to the equitable law and the general rule of law and justice that are often applied by arbitrators in international arbitration.

The event attracted many leading members of Sydney's legal and business communities, including members of the judiciary, legal practitioners, academics, corporate multinationals and organisations with foreign interests, and law students.

The national head of Clayton Utz's International Arbitration practice and President of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), Professor Doug Jones AM, said the annual International Arbitration lecture remained a signature event in the global International Arbitration calendar and reflected Australia's preeminence in leading debate and thought leadership in this area.

"The annual International Arbitration lecture continues to play an important role in promoting and supporting the development and study of international arbitration and international dispute resolution in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. For some years now Clayton Utz, in conjunction with organisations such as ACICA, have been leading efforts to promote Australia and we are very honoured to provide attendees with an opportunity to hear an individual of Mr Al Tamimi's high-calibre," said Professor Jones.

Mr Al Tamimi said: “It is indeed a great honour to speak as such a prestigious and highly respected event and to see Clayton Utz and the University of Sydney taking a lead in this is very encouraging. There are a lot of misconceptions concerning the role of Sharia in international law, particularly amongst non-Muslim business communities. At the same time, there are arguments being brought before international arbitration tribunals as an Islamic law defense whereas in most cases, such an argument is not even relevant to arbitration. Consequently, to be able to address such issues will, I hope, lead to a greater understanding of what Sharia is, the part it can play in dispute resolution and how it can work for the benefit of international arbitration.”

Professor Jones thanked attendees for their support which he said was fundamental to the longevity of the annual lecture. "Clayton Utz is grateful for the support of attendees who have helped ensure the lecture's continued growth.

This growth was reflected in the demand this year to provide live web feeds to interested viewers around the world, which we were happy to provide," said Professor Jones.

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