seminar on ‘DWIFAC’ Held on Saturday, 15th March 2014
The School of Law hosted a seminar on Dubai World Islamic Finance Arbitration Centre (DWIFAC) on Saturday, 15th March 2014. It was conducted by SOL as part of its existing commitment towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as envisaged under the SOL Resolution on CPD signed at the First National Conference on CPD in law on 31st August 2013.
Ms. Camille Paldi – CEO of Franco American Alliance for Islamic Finance (FAAIF) Ltd in Dubai kindly consented to deliver the key-note speech at this event. Ms. Paldi has a Masters Degree in Islamic Finance from Durham University in the UK. In addition to being a qualified Islamic Finance specialist, Ms. Paldi has also received legal training in common, civil and Shari’ah law in six countries spanning five continents of the earth, in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, North America and the Middle East. She has over 10 years of global experience in the private and public sectors and brings with her a wealth of practical knowledge acquired around the globe from the world’s leading educational institutions.
The aim of her speech was to explore the role of ‘DWIFAC’ as Dubai is the hub of Islamic Finance. She began her speech by focusing on the importance to establish and standardize a unique, independent legal framework to effectively resolve Islamic Finance Disputes. She also mentioned that the existing Dispute Resolution Centers are inadequate and ineffective due to lack of properly trained staff, misapplication and non-application of Shari’ah, legal uncertainty, inadequate procedure and rules etc.
Furthermore, with the help of case laws, she went on to discuss that Shari’ah is not considered as a valid source of law for governing a commercial dispute or Islamic finance transaction especially in the UK and that courts tend to sever any association with Shari’ah. In event of conflict of laws and asserting that only a national law or the law of the seat of Arbitration can govern the contract ,thereby defeating the purpose of Islamic Finance.
By laying emphasis on the use and benefits of Arbitration, she recommended that it was time to take back the control over Islamic Finance by promoting and advocating an institution such as DWIFAC.
She concluded by stating that it is not efficient for the Islamic finance industry to use domestic common and civil law litigation, which does not recognize Shari’ah. It is clear that international arbitration is more beneficial than mediation and the best alternative dispute resolution mechanism available for Islamic finance; and that this opportunity be taken in the creation of the Dubai World Islamic Finance Arbitration Center (DWIFAC) and Dubai World Islamic Finance Arbitration Centre Jurisprudence Office (DWIFACJO) to encourage practitioners in the Islamic finance industry to pursue Islamic banking, which promotes Shari’ah based rather than Shari’ah compliant products, and to pursue Holy Book Banking based on the concept of Risalah, recognizing the teaching of all of God’s prophets.