Article from: TDM 6 (2022), in Editorial
It's my immense pleasure to write this foreword to this Transnational Dispute Management (TDM) Special Issue on Islamic Finance and Dispute Resolution, edited by Professor Dr. A. F. M. Maniruzzaman, an Honorary Fellow and International Arbitrator of the International Islamic Centre for Reconciliation and Arbitration (IICRA).
There is no doubt that Islamic finance is progressively growing as an emerging phenomenon of global finance in the wake of recent financial crisis worldwide in the last two decades and is expected to play its significant role in the years ahead. This is more so in the context of the serious consideration about Islamic finance given by some major international financial institutions including the World Bank for financing the UN Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030. The increasing role of Islamic finance in trade, commerce and investment in both the Muslim and Non-Muslim worlds will be palpably felt in the world economy in the years ahead. Islamic finance will thus play a noticeable role along with conventional finance as in Non-Muslim countries the former is becoming ever so popular and high in demand.
It has to be noted that with this growing trend in the world economy, the prospects of disputes arising out of financial transactions are not out of the question. For a sound growth of Islamic finance and its prospective significant role in the world economy a sound legal infrastructure of dispute resolution in the field of Islamic finance is very important.
It is interesting to see that this TDM Special Issue has attracted experts and practitioners from various regions of the world and their contributions on diverse subjects will certainly enhance knowledge of Islamic finance and dispute resolution and contribute to the development of a sound legal infrastructure of Islamic dispute resolution.
Given the absence of specific legislation, and judicial or arbitral bodies specialized in organizing the settlement of all kinds of disputes based on the principles of Islamic Shari'ah governing the transactions of almost 25% of the world's population, whose investment assets in the year 2024 is about to reach an amount of 3.87 trillion US dollars, IICRA was established in 2005 AD as an international non-profit organization whose sole mission is to adjudicate all kinds of financial, commercial, banking, and real estate disputes through reconciliation and arbitration in accordance with institutional Rules based on the Model International Arbitration Law (UNCITRAL).
The importance of Arbitration at IICRA has increased in settling such dispute, whereas the Arbitral Awards related to disputes rendered under IICRA are based on the principles of Islamic Shari'ah and do under no circumstances include (a usury - or an increase in the outstanding amounts due to delay in making the payment). Therefore, it would be in the greater interest of the parties, especially for the financial institutions, to settle their disputes as soon as possible, as it guarantees them financial stability and avoids allocating legal precautions imposed on them by Central Banks as a result of lawsuits.
Over the past fifteen years, IICRA has resolved many disputes of various types and values, and it has now become one of the infrastructure institutions of the Islamic economy and its legal arm. Also, IICRA has recently updated its Rules of procedure to go hand in hand with latest recommended international practices in the field of institutional arbitration with an aim to maintain IICRA's core specialty in order to promote the advantages, especially speed, confidentiality, flexibility, and rationalization of expenses, IICRA has launched an e-platform for online dispute resolution through Reconciliation and Arbitration via its website www.iicra.com.
Last but not least, IICRA is pleased to communicate with all those interested in its mission and objectives set out above, in order to strengthen cooperation and achieve the purpose of its establishment.
Rami S. Abudaqqa
General Secretary, International Islamic Centre for Reconciliation and Arbitration (IICRA), Dubai, UAE