2022 ICCA President's Report to the ICCA Membership
From ICCA President Lucy Reed, March 2023
Having concluded a busy and productive 2022, in which most of us started gratefully to emerge from pandemic lockdowns, it is time for the President’s annual report to the ICCA Membership. First and foremost, I thank each and every ICCA Member for being a part of our community. To keep you in touch, including with the 150 new Members who joined in 2022, I remind that the contact details for all can be easily found in our online Membership Directory.
ICCA Edinburgh Congress 2022
In September 2022 we finally held the ICCA Edinburgh Congress. Delayed three times over two years by Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, ICCA Edinburgh ultimately attracted over 1,300 delegates, making it the most-attended Congress in ICCA history. All were happy to see so many ICCA Members and others in person. Our Scottish hosts Brandon Malone and Andrew Mackenzie treated delegates to stunning venues, delicious Scottish cuisine, Ceilidh dancing and plenty of bagpipes, while the Program Committee, chaired by Cavinder Bull, Loretta Malintoppi and Constantine Partasides, brought together an outstanding slate of speakers to discuss front-burner topics of today’s arbitration world. ICCA’s newly launched Inclusion Fund facilitated attendance by some who might otherwise not have been able to join. Full film footage from the Edinburgh Congress is available on the ICCA website here.
Upcoming Congresses and conferences
With Edinburgh done and dusted (but not forgotten), we turn now to preparations for the 26th ICCA Congress, which will take place in Hong Kong from 5 – 8 May 2024. Before Hong Kong, ICCA will be co-hosting a Joint Conference with the Vancouver International Arbitration Centre (VanIAC) on 2 June 2023 in Vancouver, with the topical theme of "Energy Infrastructure Disputes and Arbitration: Today and Tomorrow". We hope to see many of you in both Vancouver and Hong Kong (and remind that ICCA Members receive a 10% discount to ICCA conferences and congresses).
In regard to the core ICCA work of publications, we renewed our longstanding publishing partnership with Wolters Kluwer, which means we will continue to work with Kluwer to deliver high-quality curated resources to the arbitration community. In 2022 we released six electronic updates and the annual hard copy of the 2022 Yearbook Commercial Arbitration, and continued to update and refresh the 85-plus country reports in in the ICCA Handbook Commercial Arbitration. During 2023 we will release the 21st volume in the ICCA Congress Series, offering the papers delivered during the Edinburgh Congress.
ICCA projects and judicial outreach
ICCA was extremely busy with other activities during 2022. Four of ICCA’s project groups launched new reports with special events in Edinburgh. The ICCA Reports Series now numbers ten volumes – including the most recent reports by: the Cybersecurity in International Arbitration ICCA-NYC Bar-CPR Working Group; the ICCA-IBA Joint Task Force on Data Protection in International Arbitration; the Cross-Institutional Task Force on Gender Diversity in Arbitral Appointments and Proceedings; and the research project “Does a Right to a Physical Hearing Exist in International Arbitration?”.
ICCA’s Judiciary Committee held New York Convention Roadshows in Bulgaria and Azerbaijan, using newly translated versions of ICCA’s Guide to the Interpretation of the 1958 New York Convention. We also continued our engagement with African arbitral practice through collaboration with the African Arbitration Association, and with Chinese arbitral practice through publication of a special collection of Chinese court judgments. At the Edinburgh Congress, we announced the inaugural winner of the ICCA-Guillermo Aguilar Alvarez Memorial Prize for the best published work by an author under 40 in the previous two years – Professor Julian Arato of the University of Michigan.
Young ICCA also brought a number of excellent initiatives to life in 2022. We saw the winner of the inaugural Young ICCA Essay Competition Lilit Nagapetyan, awarded a speaking slot at the Edinburgh Congress. Young ICCA continued to deliver its signature Skills Training Workshops, holding three events online and two in person events in Athens and Edinburgh.
Veeder Fellowship Programme
In an initiative close to my heart, 2022 also saw the launch of the ICCA-Johnny Veeder Fellowship Programme in honor of our late colleague and friend. The fellowships will provide financial assistance in the form of "micro-grants" to allow qualified recipients to pursue opportunities in the field of international arbitration. As detailed on the ICCA website, applications are now being accepted for 2023 fellowships – please feel free to get the word out.
Coming up in 2023
We have started an exciting new project in 2023, bringing together a high-level panel of experts to develop and promote a proposed draft conciliation annex for the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Handover to new ICCA President in April 2023
This will be my last President’s annual report. In April 2023, I will hand on the ICCA Governing Board baton to ICCA President-elect Stanimir Alexandrov, to start what I know will be a productive three-year term as ICCA President.
You can find details on all the developments noted above, and more, on the ICCA website. As always, if you have any comments directly for me you can reach me via email at LucyReed@arbitration-icca.org. From May 2023, you will be able to reach Stanimir directly at StanimirAlexandrov@arbitration-icca.org.
With thanks for your contributions in 2022 and best wishes for 2023,