Creating a Commercial Dispute Resolution Center in the Palestinian Territories- Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 60, No. 2
William E. Davis is the president of DPK Consulting in San Francisco, California.
Lubna Katbeh is executive director of the Tahkeem Center in Ramallah.
Shahla Maghzi-Ali is a graduate student in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at the University of California, Berkeley.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
Increasingly, commercial alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs are being created throughout the world to meet the needs of local industries. These ADR centers provide a model of peaceful dispute resolution for other countries, particularly when they are located in a geographic area known for political conflict. As a result, ADR centers can have significance beyond the borders of the region they are in by setting a model of peaceful resolution in both commercial and public arenas.
This article describes the process of forming the first commercial ADR center in the Palestinian Territories. This experience creates hope for new models of interaction between Palestinians and Israelis. There is a great need for ADR mechanisms in this region so that the private sector can contribute to building much- needed social and economic capital in the region.
The creation of an ADR center in this region of conflict demonstrates the reach and universality of ADR and its capacity to provide a common language for the resolution of disputes and contribute to local prosperity and development.
In the late 1990s, the U.S. government, acting through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) undertook an ambitious legal reform project to aid the fledgling justice system in the Palestinian Territories. This project— one of several ongoing international aid projects in the region at that time—was intended to focus on developing pilot trial courts, aiding four law schools, engaging civil society in the promotion of justice, and creating a court-annexed ADR program. San Francisco-based DPK Consulting (DPK) was the contractor selected for the project. DPK proposed that the program include an ADR capacity in the commercial sector.