Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:09 am Post subject: Shia Imami Ismaili Conciliation and Arbitraion Boards (CABs)
Mediation Within One Community
September 25th, 2011 · No Comments
Last week I had the pleasure of attending an event sponsored by the Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Conciliation and Arbitraion Board for the USA (CAB). The goal of the event was to introduce the Dallas-Fort Worth legal and dispute resolution community to the work of the CAB. My previous experience with the Ismaili community was limited to seeing educational and humanitarian projects conducted by the Aga Khan Foundation in Central Asia. So, it was fascinating to learn more about the Ismaili community as a whole and the mediation program in particular. The mediation program is for members of the Ismaili community worldwide and predominately handles family/divorce and business disputes without charge. All family/divorce matters are handled through a co-mediation model with a male and female mediator. And, about half of the CAB mediators are women.
Among the many interesting and thoughtful aspects of this mediation program is how proactive it is in following up with the parties. Within 30-60 days after each mediation, whether resolution is reached or not, the mediators get in touch with the parties to see if there is a need for any further assistance. The Ismaili community as a whole seems to offer much support to its members and has institutional resources that can help with implementing the mediation agreements and the mediators themselves seem to be well attuned to helping the parties access those resources.
In addition, the CAB keeps what seem to be admirable records of all mediations including identifying the “root causes” of the conflict. The stated goal is to determine what might be done within the community to prevent future disputes. One example that was given was that the “root cause” of many business disputes within the community is the lack of written agreements, as many of the businesses are conducted between family members. As a result of this conclusion, another Ismaili institution conducts educational programs to encourage written contracts in all business agreements, including between family members.
The mediators are all volunteers and serve for a three year term up to a maximum of six years. The mediators themselves undergo over 40 hours of initial training and have follow-up training. Most of the mediators are non-lawyers. One interesting side-benefit of this structure is that over the 25 years that this program has been in place, many members of the community have been mediators, received training, and presumably bring better conflict management skills with them after they finish their terms as mediators.
Since all of the mediators, and the parties, are from the same community, it seems one great advantage of this mediation program is that the mediators are aware of the cultural and religious context for the parties and their disputes. But, what was more impressive to me was how proactive the CAB seems to be in reaching out to the wider dispute resolution world and incorporating the continually evolving understanding of best practices and theory into their approaches.
UK National Conciliation and Arbitration Board (NCAB) leads workshop on mediation.
ADR Group and ADRg Ambassadors Deliver Senior Level Training Workshop to UN Friends of Mediation
Posted on Thursday, June 07, 2012
10 June 2012 - ADR Group in cooperation with ADRg Ambassadors and the UK National Conciliation and Arbitration Board (NCAB) of the Ismaili Community led an advanced mediation workshop for members of the United Nations Friends of Mediation in New York last month.
Sir Stewart Eldon KCMG OBE (who has served as UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, UK Ambassador to Ireland and UK Permanent Representative to NATO) introduced the event and provided personal reflections on mediation and peacemaking. Mr. Nazmin Kassam, Chairman of NCAB UK, presented his insights on the unique international model of alternative dispute resolution used by the Ismaili community in dealing with commercial and family disputes. Mr. Rahim Shamji, Director of Education and Training at ADR Group, moderated the interactive training workshop, drawing on his experience in cross-cultural community based mediation training.
Formed in 2010 the United Nations Friends of Mediation is co-chaired by Finland and Turkey and has 25 Member States and seven International Organization members. They play a significant role in increasing the visibility of mediation within the United Nations and other International Organizations, and promoting cooperation between different actors.
Members place importance on building and improving mediation capacity within their Ministries and Organizations and have looked to ADR Group to impart fresh insights on international and community based mediation.
The event which had the theme Cross-Cultural Issues in Mediation was designed to increase cultural awareness in a conflict prevention context. Senior diplomats from 19 Member States and Mediation Experts from four International Organizations attended.
This was the first time members of the group had participated in a mediation workshop together and feedback was extremely positive.
ADR Group has significant international experience especially in developing countries where they have contributed to the increasingly widespread use of mediation through training and capacity building, and through the establishment of sustainable community and court based Alternative Dispute Resolution infrastructures.
In cooperation with ADRg Ambassadors, ADR Group has trained senior staff in International Organizations and Foreign Ministries, as well as through education institutions. The unique approach to mediation training draws on real-life examples to combine the psychology and technique of professional mediation with operational diplomatic skills in resolving disputes.
Kenya Conciliation, Arbitration
Board Mediation Programme
Members trained for the alternate dispute resolution
service they provide to the Ismaili community in Kenya
Coastweek-- The Conciliation and Arbitration Board of Kenya, had a two day training and orientation programme on Mediation over the weekend of 5th and 6th January 2013 in Nairobi .
This is in keeping with the objective of getting its Members trained for the alternate dispute resolution service they provide to the Ismaili community in Kenya on a voluntary basis.
A total number of 18 members from the Mombasa and Nairobi Regional Conciliation and National Conciliation Boards participated in the programme which was conducted jointly by Mr. Rahim Samji who is a member of the National Conciliation and Arbitration Board United Kingdom and Rosemin Bhanji, Chairperson of National Conciliation and Arbitration Board for Kenya.
"And therefore the Constitution links every Murid to the Imam of the Time. In the same way, the rules and regulations have been designed to take into account national law in various countries, old traditions and habits, new needs. But basically, the new Constitution provides that every Murid has the same relationship to the Imam of the Time in the administration of Jamati matters and that is, I think, a very important step." (Gilgit, Nov 21, 1987)
Last edited by kmaherali on Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total
The article below is about faith based arbitration in the US which may provide the backdrop to the operation of CAB in the US.
For generations, religious tribunals have been used in the United States to settle family disputes and spiritual debates. But through arbitration, religion is being used to sort out secular problems like claims of financial fraud and wrongful death.
Customers who buy bamboo floors from Higuera Hardwoods in Washington State must take any dispute before a Christian arbitrator, according to the company’s website. Carolina Cabin Rentals, which rents high-end vacation properties in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, tells its customers that disputes may be resolved according to biblical principles. The same goes for contestants in a fishing tournament in Hawaii.
Religious arbitration clauses, including the one used by Teen Challenge, have often proved impervious to legal challenges.
His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Conciliation and Arbitration Board for Canada
Throughout history, the Ismaili Community has maintained a tradition of resolving disputes and differences through an entirely voluntary process of mediation, conciliation and arbitration.
The ethic of fair mediation is frequently expounded in the Holy Qu’ran which says:“He who shall mediate between people for a good purpose shall be the gainer by it. But he who shall mediate with an evil mediation shall reap the fruit of it. And Allah keepeth watch over everything.” (4.85)
On December 13, 1986 the Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, ordained by His Highness Prince Aga Khan, established a dispute resolution system whereby Conciliation and Arbitration Boards (CAB) would operate at the regional, national and international levels. Currently, the CAB system operates in 18 jurisdictions around the world.
In Canada, there is a National Board (NCAB) and five Regional Boards (RCAB) for British Columbia, Edmonton, Prairies, Ontario and for Quebec and the Maritime Provinces. The primary objective of CAB is to provide dispute resolution services to the Jamat in the areas of commercial, matrimonial and family matters, including those relating to matrimony, children of marriage, matrimonial property, and testate and intestate succession.
CAB also works with other Ismaili Institutions in the areas of dispute prevention, conflict management and addressing issues that arise during and after the dispute resolution processes.
There is an interesting article on the CAB published in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin of April 6th, 2016 Vol 162 No. 67 titled: "A modern, worldwide dispute resolution system inspired by Islam" .
The article concludes with:
"It is a shame that given recent terrorist attacks in the name of Islam and the news coverage surrounding such events, writing about Muslims engaged in peace-making feels like a man-bites-dog-story. This group has a lot of mediation experience to share."
“At a time when resolving disputes in courts can be prohibitively costly and slow, this guide to arbitration — as part of the process of “alternative dispute resolution” — is especially timely. It takes the reader through the full range of issues involved, in language that is eminently accessible, and a style that is inviting and peppered with worldly wisdom. As a bonus, the author draws on his professional experience at the community level to explain the workings of conflict resolution…. in the sophisticated institutional context of a contemporary community practice.
— Dr. Amyn B. Sajoo, Simon Fraser University, Canada
About the author
The author had studied law with the University of London. He then embarked on writing a book on the law of Wills and Trusts. Whilst it was based on Kenyan law, Kenya being formerly tied to the “British empire” had the origins of its laws from the UK, as is the case in Canada.
This book received accolades from the then Attorney General’s office and has been recommended as a reference book for several years for law students, lawyers and law makers.
As a firm believer in alternate dispute resolution systems he studied to become a member, followed by becoming a fellow of the renowned Institute of Arbitrators of England.
Not only has he conducted numerous arbitrations but has written several articles on the subject, conducted training seminars on this subject.
He was Chairman of the Aga Khan Conciliation Arbitration board of Kenya, part of the International Conciliation and Arbitration Board with its network of Boards in north America, Western Europe, Africa, and the Indian sub-continent.
He has made several submissions not only to this prestigious board but to governments, movers and shakers. He has endeavoured to be, on the one hand, brief so as not to clutter the mind of the novice, but has given in as simple a way as possible a large segment of the vast array of principles of this law.
Included is a treatise on the origins of this process, the different kinds of alternate dispute resolution processes and the advantage over State Controlled Dispute resolution processes- The courts. He has also included reference to “the Power of an apology”, discussed online ADR systems, and discusses its origins in Islam, a religion that has perked the interest of the west, of a religion that is so widespread and yet so misunderstood.
More important he has tried to expound a more altruistic view of dispute resolution using apt “Words of wisdom”. He tries to show that as Shakespeare put it “to obtain a pound of flesh”. Or to do it for the sake of revenge is not the right way to go.
Arbitration is a more formal, involved ADR process which whilst gaining importance is the least understood process. He endeavours to make arbitrators or parties to an arbitrators out of novices with the least amount of effort. He endeavours to demystify this creature called “Arbitration” He includes a glossary of terms His appendix not only contains sample agreements, rules etc but has sample arbitration clauses, not only for regular contracts but for Company constitutions, wills, and marriage contracts!!
It is a shame that the dispute below could not be resolved through CAB saving $$$$ which that could be utilized in more valuable charitable work.
Popat sons fight over father’s multi-billion shilling empire
Two sons of businessman Abdul Karim Popat are embroiled in a vicious battle for control of their father’s multi-billion shilling empire, offering rare insight into the patriarch’s wealth and setting in motion what is promising to be one of Kenya’s most bruising succession wars.
Ross MacDonald and Noordin Nanji appointed Queen's counsel in British Columbia
DECEMBER 2016 - Congratulations to Ross MacDonald and Noordin Nanji on their recent Queen's counsel appointment, announced last week by British Columbia's Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Suzanne Anton.
The QC designation is conferred each year on members of the legal profession to recognize exceptional merit and contribution. Successful candidates are nominated by their peers after which an advisory committee reviews applications and makes recommendations to the Attorney General. The appointments were made by cabinet through orders-in-council.
Ross was one of six lawyers who opened the Vancouver office of Stikeman Elliott in 1988 and has been Managing Partner of the office for the past 18 years. Leading a formidable commercial real estate practice, Ross's work has been behind every development project that has shaped the city of Vancouver and surrounding Lower Mainland since the early 1990s.
Noordin, in addition to being a leading corporate lawyers in BC, is former Chairman of the Aga Khan International Conciliation and Arbitration Board, and current Chairman of the Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Hospital Foundation.
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