I have experienced handling Arbitration Case at the Indonesian National Board of Arbitration ( BANI) in Jakarta, Indonesia. At one time my Law Firm was representing one of our Clients who was involved in the Oil and Gas Sectors at BANI in which my Client was claimed to pay for a certain amount of monies, by a drilling Contractor. Such experience was very interesting for me as the Partner of my Law Firm Suleiman Agung & Co, since the condition of defending our Clients interest in this Arbitration Board is totally different than handling a case in the Indonesian Court.
The most different part is because in Arbitration proceedings the conditions are very informal, where the Arbitrators consists of 3 members, whereby 2 arbitrators were each chosen by each Party from the list of arbitrators available in the list provided by BANI. The 2 Arbitrators shall then select 1 arbitrator who shall act as the empire of such Board of Arbitration. The Arbitration fee is being paid upfront by the Party who is applying for such Arbitration Proceedings, and will be adjusted accordingly to be shared by both Parties pursuant to the rules under the BANI ruling, depending on the Award of such Arbitration. We experienced that in practice, BANI may only proceed the Arbitration Cession, if the full Arbitration Fee had been made by the Party who request such Arbitration to take place.
Before the Arbitrations proceeding commence, we experienced that the Arbitrators will informed both Parties that the most significant element in handling this case is, processed through a fair arbitration proceeding, where both Parties are being given the same chances and opportunities to represent their argumentation, and mutual solution shall be strive to settle the differences between the disputing Parties through this Arbitration Proceedings.
In practice, each Party shall not only just launch their argumentation in writing, but may also be granted the chance to orally represents their argumentation. In my view, this is a significant difference compared to handling civil cases in the Indonesian Court, where only written argumentation can be submitted by each Party, during the Court Proceedings, and the time for launching oral argumentation is only given during the stage of submission of evidence by each Party.
The surroundings or place of such Arbitration during the arbitration proceedings is also not too formal, as we experienced in a Court Cessions. Thus, such condition really helps establishing a friendly environment of arbitration proceedings, and shows more of a meeting cession.
During such Arbitration Proceedings if there appears to be a dead lock or stagnant, the Board of Arbitrators shall act as a middleman, trying to seek out a way for the Parties to reached a win and win situation. If the Parties failed to reach such settlement, the Arbitrators will then remind the Parties that the Arbitrators may make its decision according to their perception of the case, which may end up the feelings of loosing and winning by a Party.
Frequently, in order for the Parties to cool down, if the tension rises, there will be a break of time, before the proceeding continues and emerged into a dead lock situation.
Well, at the end of the day, I may say that based on my above experience, the forum through the Indonesian National Board of Arbitration (BANI) appears to be a good and attractive alternative solution for the Parties who entered a Business Transactions in Indonesia, in choosing a forum to handle and settle disputes between the Parties, if such event occurred.
This is based on our Law Firm and or Senior Partner's experience of this Law Firm of Suleiman Agung & Co, where the process, which resulted in an Arbitration Award, is satisfactory to both Parties or close to a win-win situation. And as a business man who seeks and try to maintain good long term business relationships, we believe that there must always be a room to negotiate and settle differences, and avoid selfishness and greediness in conducting business, in other words we have to honour honesty, integrity and fairness in conducting our day to day business.
Cheers April 30, 2009
Agung Supomo Suleiman
Partner of Law Firm Suleiman Agung & Co
This is also Published in ALLVOICES GLOBAL MEDIA
Law Firm Blog: http://www.sacolaw.blogspot.com