The President of the Center addresses the main highlights of CAM-CCBC’s performance over the course of the year
By Eleonora Coelho*
When entering the month of December, it is common for us to make a reflection on the year that is ending, creating goals for the future that we are surrounded by. In 2020, this reflection is even more valuable. After all, we were surprised by a global pandemic in March, and since then, we have stepped into an unknown territory.
Faced with uncertainty, we are guided by our values in the search for the right decision, and at this moment, we have the mission of looking to the past, learnings from this year’s lessons, but being aware that the present demands us to weave a new future.
It is well-known that adversities shape the path to evolution. This year, the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods have been definitely urged to adapt. CAM-CCBC, by its turn, reinforced its commitment with the improvement of ADRs, always guided by the awareness of our social responsibility and based on an ethical performance.
A challenging year
Even facing the unpredictable, CAM-CCBC has maintained its management safe, efficient, and zealous, when following the procedures. Despite the physical distance, the availability of our secretarial staff remains the same. All of this is part of a collective institutional mentality, which understands the great responsibility of its performance before the parties, lawyers, arbitrators, and before the maintenance of the ADRs economy in our country.
In fact, in only 48 hours after the beginning of the social isolation imposed by the pandemic, CAM-CCBC organized itself internally to ensure the continuity of the more than 300 procedures in progress in a remote manner, having determined emergency measures that have assured the secure management of the processes.
After this, it was approved the Administrative Resolution =No. 40/2020 , through which it was established the regular management of all procedures in a totally remote manner, adjusting the arbitration practice to communications and hearings held exclusively by electronic means. This is how we successfully brought forward a project that was already in progress: the one on migration to the totally electronic conduction of arbitrations, with efficiency and security.
In October, we approved the Administrative Resolution No. 43/2020, which authorizes, on an exceptional basis, the holding of face-to-face hearings, provided certain requirements to be evaluated by the Arbitration Court are met and strict security measures are respected.
This resumption required several adaptations to CAM-CCBC infrastructure and the establishment of strong policies for hearings to be strictly conducted within public health and social distance advice, in favor of the health of all its participants. These efforts reflect CAM-CCBC’s commitment to quality, maximum efficiency, preservation of integrity and unity of the community, as a whole.
Despite the social distancing measure, the health situation offered an opportunity for all of us to expand essential values such as empathy, solidarity, and tolerance.
In this scenario, CAM-CBC has further reinforced its social responsibility through initiatives that foster social projects and institutions and has implemented actions that promote effective changes in favor gender and race diversity.
Within CCBC and CAM-CCBC, a committee was created in order to spread diversity in the Center’s organizational culture. However, CAM-CCBC is aware of its duty to go deeper and promote the diversity value throughout the ADRs context.
During this pandemic, CAM-CCBC was pleased to donate R$ 300,000 to Hospital das Clínicas (HC) da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo (USP) (Clinic Hospital of the Medical School from University of São Paulo), a public health entity, a reference in our country.
CAM-CCBC has also maintained and even expanded its academic activities in the virtual field and has organized around 25 webinars and supported and co-organized several other events in digital field. In October we promoted VII Congresso CAM-CCBC de Arbitragem (VII CAM-CCBC Congress of Arbitration), in hybrid format, and the III São Paulo Arbitration Week (SPAW), which was held entirely online. In each of the events we encourage donations to social institutions, promoting their respective social projects.
We have kept our commitment to diversity, demanding from the webinars, which have the institutional support or sponsorship of CAM-CCBC that they keep at least 30% of women in their board of speakers – in line with the affirmative action adopted in all events organized by the Center.
Resilience, evolution and, above all, unity, are the legacies that, as a community, we seek. In a country where there are one hundred million lawsuits, which are managed by an overburdened Judiciary, fostering the appropriate methods of dispute resolution is to exercise a social function. From this perspective, we consider important the commitment to transparency and disclosure of statistics, which is why we launched the first Center’s Annual Report, with facts and statistics referring to the year 2019, an initiative that should be maintained in the years to come.
Even facing so many challenges, we have to celebrate the victories and remain always vigilant in the improvement of the technical skills and in the fostering of the debates that promote the ADRs development.
I wish you all the very best this holiday season.
* Lawyer, having extensive experience as an arbitrator and Master in Litigation, Arbitration and ADRs from the University of Paris, Eleonora Coelho has served for four years in the General Secretariat of CAM-CCBC, and is currently the President of the Center, since 2019.