March 31, 2020

From the Chair

Geetha Ravindra

The ABA Dispute Resolution Section provides training, resources, research, policy development, and a variety of other innovative initiatives to promote the development of effective dispute resolution internationally as well as in the United States. In 2008, with the collaboration of colleagues in Europe, the Section coordinated an international conference at The Hague. In October 2013, Section leaders visited members of the judiciary in Thailand and Vietnam and engaged in discussions related to mediation program development. This past October, a delegation visited Cuba and enjoyed learning about that country’s arbitration and mediation programs.

With all the important strides that have been made recently in mediation around the world, this is an ideal time for knowledge-sharing among leaders in the field of dispute resolution in the United States and throughout the Asia Pacific region. Over the past year I have been working on an Asia Pacific International Mediation Summit, to be held February 12-15, 2015, in New Delhi. A number of key organizations have been collaborating in planning this Summit, including UNCITRAL’s Asia Pacific Regional Centre, the Singapore International Mediation Centre, the Association of Indian Mediators, CPR, the Foundation for Sustainable Rule of Law Initiatives, and the University of California’s Hastings School of Law. Throughout the planning process, which took several months, Section leaders have worked closely with colleagues throughout the Asia Pacific region to ensure that the program meets the substantive needs and interests of their various mediation communities and regional bars.

The Summit will focus on two key topics: building sustainable mediation programs and commercial mediation/cross-border mediation. Justices of the Supreme Court of India, the Chief Justice of Singapore, and the Secretary for Justice of Hong Kong will present keynotes. Program topics will include key elements of sustainable court and community mediation programs, best practices in commercial mediation, strategies for overcoming barriers to cross-border mediation, international mediation agreement enforcement, credentialing and quality assurance, and the future of mediation in Asia. The final segment of the program will provide training on advanced mediation skills and training for attorneys on advocacy in mediation.

The Summit’s goal is to support capacity-building, encourage collaboration, build networks, and promote cross-cultural awareness and understanding of mediation and dispute resolution processes throughout the Asia Pacific region. We anticipate that it will attract about 150 experienced dispute resolution practitioners, attorneys, academicians, judges, and government officials from different cultural, organizational, and professional backgrounds who are culturally fluent, innovative, interested in contributing and building on their knowledge and expertise, and eager to support the development and sustain­ability of mediation programs in the Asia Pacific region.

Attendees will include delegates from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Scotland, France, Canada, Fiji, Russia, and the United States. People don’t have to attend to benefit: With the kind support of Colin Rule and his company Modria, the Summit will be streamed live. Video records of the sessions will also be available on the Section website.

Judges, mediation practitioners, academicians, and program administrators from the Asia Pacific region and ABA Dispute Resolution section members can all learn a great deal from each other. Section members will surely gain greater understanding of mediation program development throughout the Asia Pacific region and can look for opportunities to promote dispute resolution there.

As the first attorney-mediator of Indian origin who has the honor of serving as the Chair of our Section, I am fortunate to have this opportunity to help convene a conference that will introduce my esteemed US colleagues to many of the amazing leaders in the field of dispute resolution throughout Asia. I also look forward to post-Summit efforts that will be coordinated in partnership with the ABA Rule of Law Initiative, articles and publications that come out of the Summit, and the participation of Summit presenters in our Spring 2015 Annual Conference in Seattle. If you are interested in getting involved with the Section’s activities and projects abroad, please consider joining our International Committee.

With your involvement, the Section is making a positive impact, nationally and internationally, on several cutting-edge issues. Thank you for your continuing support and engagement.


Geetha Ravindra is a mediator for the International Monetary Fund based in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at geetha.ravindra@yahoo.com.

Geetha Ravindra