International commercial arbitration, especially in energy contracts, is considered the safe way and right approach to protecting international trade, and the closest way to resolving disputes in the fastest and easiest way, said Qatar International Center for Conciliation and Arbitration (QICCA) Board Member for International Relations Sheikh Dr. Thani bin Ali Al Thani.
HE noted that recent years saw marked growth in arbitration cases relating to the energy sector, indicating that recent statistics of the ICC International Court of Arbitration showed that about 170 registered new cases had been filed with the court last year, most of them are related to energy contracts.
‘Energy disputes represented about 25% of the cases filed before international arbitration centers in 2020, such as the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and others,’ Sheikh Thani said said.
HE was speaking at the third day’s opening session of ‘Turkey Arbitration Week’ that was held virtually on Wednesday, November 3.
Addressing a session titled ‘The Development of Arbitration in Energy Contracts’, HE Sheikh Thani said that trade has become an important role not only on the economic level but also in bringing peoples and their cultures closer, pointing out that Qatar-Turkey relations are a clear example of this.
‘The two countries’ trade exchange amounted to more than $2 billion in 2020, compared to less than $1 billion in 2016,’ he noted.
Sheikh Thani also indicated that commercial arbitration is one of the most important means that help in overcoming difficulties facing investment, especially in energy contracts, assuring that the reason is that because energy is of paramount importance to other sectors such as industry, agriculture, and others.
‘Energy projects are usually long, complex and require a substantial level of capital. Additionally, the sector has significant exposure to geological events, political changes, and environmental regulations. For these reasons, disputes are common in the energy sector, and arbitration has become the preferred method of resolving these disputes, particularly at the international level,’ he noted.
On his part, Lawyer Sultan al-Abdulla, a member of QICCA’s panel of arbitrators, spoke about the developments of arbitration rules during the past two years since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, noting that arbitration centres positively responded to the pandemic circumstances and amended their rules to keep pace with these developments such as the British Arbitration Committee, the ICC, the International Center for Dispute Resolution, the Singapore Arbitration Center and the International Association of Lawyers.
He also pointed out that there is a continuous interest to develop arbitration rules with the aim of making arbitration easier and more positive, and this is the secret of the arbitration’s success, as the arbitrators deal with clear rules that have been continuously developed.