PIBF Nurtures Joint Centre for Peaceful Dispute Resolution
After three years of work on November 18 2013 the Jerusalem Arbitration Center (JAC), a centre for resolution of commercial disputes, was offically launched with a signing cermony in Jerusalem. The center is a result of joint efforts between the two chambers and the ICC Headquarters in Paris under the support of PIBF and NIR. The JAC is the first of its kind, and will provide internationally backed neutral mediation services in commercial disputes for Israeli, Palestinian and international companies.
The birth of the initiative came at a PIBF meeting in Jerusalem in February 2010. Since then, PIBF has been instrumental in the support for legal works and communications, development of business plans and facilitation of contacts and meetings vital to establishing the Centre. Several of the PIBF board members have taken active part in its development.
The JAC will make an significant difference to current situation. It will help improve the business climate in Palestine, as it increases predictability and constitutes a trustworthy business support institution in the region. This will enhance fair and equal bilateral business between Palestinians and Israelis, attract more foreign investments and open new markets for the Palestinian businesses, which in turn will nurture economic development. Finally, the JAC brings a peaceful dispute resolution mechanism to parties lack formal diplomatic relations and jurisdictions in open confrontation with each other.
Arbitration as a method is confidential. It also provides an effective alternative to Israeli courts, which are sometimes perceived as biased by Palestinian business people. The process is normally inexpensive and swift compared to litigation in the court system, yet legally binding and internationally enforced.
The legal framework is now in place and JAC has been operating since early 2013. Owned by ICC Palestine and ICC Israel based on a joint venture agreement, JAC will provide a credible legal framework to serve Palestinian and Israeli businesses in their commercial disputes. In addition, the ICC HQ and the International Court of Arbitration provides training for and advice in support for the development and operations of the JAC.
On 16 March 2013, JAC stakeholders jointly proposed the selection of Turkish businessman Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu, who is also a board member of the ICC, to co-chair the JAC with ICC Israeli and Palestinian representatives. JAC will also have its own secretariat and list of arbiters. Hisarcıklıoğlu, who chairs the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), has stated he assumed the duty in the name of the Turkish business community and will begin his work for the JAC with a visit Jerusalem soon.
JAC is owned by ICC Palestine and ICC Israel based on a joint venture agreement
JAC will serve Palestinian and Israeli businesses to refer their commercial disputes, and be rendered a fair, speedy, and relatively cost‐efficient dispute resolution mechanism
PIBF has closely supported the development of JAC 2010-2012, incl legal work, backstopping, travel, and communication
Established by a MoU 1 May 2011 (Signatories: ICC Secretary General Mr Jean Guy Carrier; Chairman of the ICC International Court of Arbitration Mr John Beechey; ICC Palestine Chairman Mr Munib al-Masri; ICC Israel Chairman)
Turkish business leader Mr Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu selected by JAC stakeholders as the sole international co-chair of the Jerusalem Arbitration Center (JAC) board.