About the 2016-2017 Global Pound Conference

This page highlights the evolution of the Global Pound Conference: from the 1976 Pound Conference, to the 2014 London Pilot and finally to the 2016-2017 GPC Series.


1976 Pound Conference

The seminal event that led to the birth of modern dispute resolution systems was the 1976 Pound Conference in St Paul, MN, USA. Named in honour of Roscoe Pound, the Dean of Harvard Law School from 1916 to 1936, the theme of the original Pound Conference was: Agenda for 2000AD – The Need for Systematic Anticipation.

Professor Frank E.A. Sander of Harvard Law School proposed that alternative forms of dispute resolution should be used to reduce reliance on conventional litigation and overcome reluctance to use other dispute resolution options. This led to many changes in the US justice system, including the creation of the “multi-door courthouse” to provide more procedural choices to disputants.

2014 London Pilot Event

On October 29, 2014, IMI organised an interactive convention entitled Shaping the Future of International Dispute Resolution in London. Over 150 delegates from many stakeholder groups and from more than 20 countries used individual voting and interactive technology to explore and express their views on a number of key issues. The resulting data suggested that significant gaps may exist between what disputants expect and need versus what is currently provided by advisors, provider bodies, practitioners, educators and policy makers.

Documents from the London Pilot

  • ​”The Urgent Need for Data: Are the Needs of Users and the Disputes Resolution Market Misaligned?”
    Click here to read the convention summary by Deborah Masucci and Michael Leathes.
  • Delegate Voting Results​
    Click here to view the London results.
  • Delegate Comments During the Convention
    Click here to view contemporaneous comments from delegates via iPads.​
  • Programme
    Click here to view the London programme.
  • Speakers
    Click here to view the list of speakers and people who organised the London​ event​.​​

2016-2017 GPC Series

Forty years since the original 1976 Pound Conference, the 2014 pilot convention in London had suggested that there may be a lack of data to enable the supply side of the dispute resolution market to fully meet users’ needs. This data and subsequent discussions led to the generation of a new list of core questions to be discussed by all stakeholders to verify whether or not these gaps exist, in what ways, and (if so) whether they vary from region to region.

The GPC Series was born as a result of these core questions, adopting the title: Shaping the Future of Dispute Resolution & Improving Access to Justice.

Intending to encompass all forms of dispute resolution, including litigation, arbitration, conciliation, and mediation, the Series considered how disputants in civil and commercial conflicts have access to appropriate dispute resolution processes that respond to users’ needs. The GPC analysed whether current dispute resolution is proportionate in terms of costs, time, possible outcomes and their enforceability, as well as whether it impacts reputations, relationships, and other social or cultural issues. Overall, the GPC produced data on what corporate and individual dispute resolution users actually need and want, both locally and globally.

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