1. The Association recently, on 18 March 2021, 22 April 2021 and 6 May 2021, respectively, hosted lectures remotely, via The first lecture was on Remote Arbitration Hearings, the second on International Arbitration in the South African Legal Context and the third on The Challenge Procedure and the Revocation of an Arbitrator’s Appointment.
2. The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown measures forced the Association to host the lectures remotely. Previously, until the beginning of 2020, the lectures were held in person on Thursday evenings at the Association’s premises in Sandton.
3. The lectures at the Association’s premises were usually well attended. Between, approximately, forty to seventy persons would normally attend them, depending on, among other factors, the topic of the lecture and the Sandton peak hour traffic.  After each lecture snacks and drinks were available to attendees.  Members of the Association and other attendees were able to mingle, make acquaintances and exchange thoughts.  This was valuable from a social and networking perspective.

Lectures held via the online platform

4. The Association employs the services of a third party to host the remote lectures via The service is well-administered and is of a high standard. The quality of each individual attendee’s picture and sound of the remote lecture will obviously depend on the quality of his or her internet connection.  This is outside the control of the service provider.  The Zoom platform has received a rating of excellent by the greater majority of attendees, who submitted appraisal forms after the lectures.  Others rated the service as good.  Only a very small percentage rated the service as  satisfactory.
5. A major advantage of the remote events is that it reaches a larger audience of people, located all over South Africa and beyond. More than one hundred and fifty persons registered for each of the three events.  On each of these occasions at least one hundred and ten persons ultimately signed in and attended.  E-mails from persons as far afield as Egypt have been received concerning the lectures.  This has obvious benefits for the Association as an alternative dispute resolution body.  It contributes to increase the Association’s footprint throughout Southern Africa and beyond.  More students may register for its e-learning courses.  The Association’s reputation and profile as an appointing authority of arbitrators, adjudicators and mediators is likely to be enhanced too.

Appraisal of the lectures

6. Attendees are requested to complete appraisal reports (appraisals) after each lecture. When the events were held in person, most attendees would complete appraisals at the venue before leaving.  However, now that the lectures are held remotely many attendees do not bother to submit such appraisals.  The Association has found that less than half of the attendees now submit appraisals.  This is indeed regrettable, as the appraisals assist the Association in improving its service to members to ensure that their interests and needs are best catered for.
7. From the appraisals so far received, it appears that attendees overwhelmingly rate the workshop content, notes and presenters as excellent or good. Roughly 90% of attendees prefer to attend evening lectures.  They approve of the duration of the events, which usually is about ninety minutes.

Suggestions and comments

8. Some respondents provided useful suggestions, such as: ‘Need training on standard form contracts – JBCC, GCC, FIDIC, NEC’; ‘Need training on short topics in general’; ‘Need training on practical aspects of arbitration’; ‘Need training on adjudication’; as well as ‘Need more information on International Arbitration’.
9. Comments received were generally positive. Attendees generally stated that they found the lectures informative and the presenters knowledgeable.  Many appreciated the investment in the Association’s members.


10. The Association will host at least another ten remote lectures during 2021. Some will cover standard form contracts, while others will focus on aspects of adjudication and arbitration.  Hopefully, they all will contribute towards the upskilling of the Association’s members and the spreading of knowledge.

Adv Pierre Rossouw SC
6 May 2021