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In the dispute resolution world, our intensely procedure-based system needs re-examination to move towards clarity, simplicity and accessibility to multiple mechanisms of dispute resolution. Changes are sought for handling conflict. These changes are not driven primarily by lawyers, bar associations, judges, or court administrators, but are being pushed most significantly by the disputants and litigants themselves. The long delays and hurdles in dispute resolution are out of sync with the fast pace of life in our newly digitized society. Disputants now demand more efficient resolution processes that deliver outcomes in days or weeks instead of months or years.

This is one of the objectives and missions of APCAM – to create efficiency and professionalism in Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms. Any dispute resolution procedure becomes effective when it is grounded in protecting core values such as due process, access to justice, fairness, objectivity, and equal protection. The pursuit of creating such professionalism requires more nimble understandings of human conflict and dispute resolution. We have to avoid the trap of unqualified ADR romanticism. These changes bring new challenges, surely, but they also present opportunities.

We need to focus on how people use ADR processes and not assume that any particular ADR processes have universal, intrinsic qualities independent of how people use them. We need to adopt a new competency model for professionals and users who are engaged in ADR. One way is to educate the ADR professionals, ADR providers and ADR Users to develop and promote standards. The goals would be to help the disputants effectively, efficiently, and ethically resolve their disputes, ensure compliance with the values of the ADR profession, and serve the public good.

APCAM Academy marks the Centre’s evolution into a multi-dimensional centre-of-excellence by providing affordable, innovative, dynamic, practical and comprehensive ADR training and guidance programs, with a view to enhance the quality and professionalism in ADR for both neutrals and practitioners.