European Workshop on Dispute Resolution
2 September 2004
ITU Montbrillant Building,
European Workshop on Dispute Resolution, organized by the Telecommunication
Development Bureau (BDT) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), was
attended by more than 50 participants from 22 European countries. The
meeting was opened by Hamadoun I. Touré, BDT Director, who noted that the
success of regulatory reform, hinges on the enforcement of effective regulatory
frameworks and that enforcement, in turn, requires dispute settlement. He added
that dispute settlement can play an important role in national efforts to narrow
the gap between the information haves and the information have nots. He
underscored that having a clear, transparent, and effective regulatory regime in
place is critical. He further indicated that the presence
of representatives form Côte d'Ivoire and India reinforces the importance of
dispute resolution in the ICT sector not only in Europe, but around the world.
Ömer Faruk KOÇAK, Head, International Relations and EU Coordination
Department, Telecommunications Authority of Turkey was appointed chairperson of the meeting. Mr.
KOÇAK, in his opening remarks also noted that resolution of disputes in the
telecommunications sector is a very important issue due to the impact it has on
investment, proper functioning of infrastructures, provision of services and the
overall economy, thus affecting the quality of life. He further indicated that
dispute resolution is a kind of art that has to be performed in a timely manner.
Performers of this art vary from regulators to mediators and from government
agencies to international bodies using different methods, techniques and legal
instruments. From the regulator's perspective, effective mechanisms for dispute
resolution are a key factor for effective competition in the markets.
purpose of the meeting was to bring together policy makers, national regulatory
authorities and ITU-D sector members from Central, Eastern and Western Europe,
the Baltic States and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region to
build capacity in the area of dispute resolution in a competitive
telecommunication and ICT environment through the exchange of experiences among
the major stakeholders. An interactive role play exercise was conducted.
The purpose of this exercise was to understand all the various aspects,
implications and outcome of a dispute from the perspectives of the various
stakeholders, and to identify best practices for dispute resolution specifically
focusing on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques.
these three days, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms and
procedures, such as mediation/conciliation, arbitration and expert determination
were discussed. ADR mechanisms are being considered, developed and used by
regulators in countries such as Romania, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and
promoted by market players, such as British Telecom, to provide timely and cost
effective solutions to disputes. It was clearly noted that these alternatives do
not preclude or minimize the role of conventional approaches, such as regulatory
adjudication, to handling disputes.
national, regional and international bodies including the International Chamber
of Commerce (ICC) Arbitration, Mediation and Expertise services, the United
Kingdom Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, WIPO's Arbitration and Mediation
Center, and the WTO presented the various services and options they offer to
assist stakeholders in resolving disputes both in using alternative and more
BDT Director concluded the meeting by indicating how pleased he was to hear from
one of the largest global operators, that an effective regulatory regime is key
to attracting investment and that dispute resolution procedures and practices
have a large role to play in measuring the effectiveness of the regime.