Hotel President Wilson, by the Geneva Bay.
Quai Wilson 47
1211 Genève

May 19th
ICCA Gala Dinner

V. V. Veeder Q.C.Gala Dinner Speech >>

May 20th
ICCA Congress

Honor Committee >>

Exclusive Interviews

PROF. Pieter Sanders
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Speakers from the future -- both members of Young ICCA

As part of the closing addresses, two "surprise speakers from the future" -- both members of Young ICCA -- were invited to address the conference and share their vision of the future of arbitration. The full addresses by Ndanga Kamau (a Kenyan national, working as a foreign legal consultant in Houston) and Patrick Miller (an American national) can be viewed on the right-hand side of this page:

Ndanga Kamau Speech >>

Patrick Miller Speech >>

Ndanga Kamau ICCA 50th Anniversary Speech

Ndanga Kamau, 31, a graduate of the University of Geneva Master in International Dispute Settlement programme and a foreign legal consultant at King & Spalding in Houston

"Contrary to what the conference programme suggests, I have not come back from the future to tell you what ICCA will be like. I am simply here to give you my current perspective, the perspective of a young practitioner who has just started out, based in Houston. In doing this, I would like to focus on an aspect that has not received much attention over the course of the conference, that is, the arbitration practitioner.

Those of you who were at the gala dinner last night will have heard Johnny Veeder say that there has come into existence an elite group of international arbitration practitioners; these are the so-called animals, to borrow Judge Bruno Simma’s analogy.

When you visit a zoo, you are likely to want information about the animals’ habitat, diet and activities. Let us then examine the international arbitration practitioner in similar terms.

If you ask an international arbitration practitioner where they are based, they will answer Geneva, London, New York, Paris; increasingly also Dubai, Hong Kong or Singapore. If you ask them who their clients are, they will tell you sovereign states, energy companies, telecoms companies and so forth. But if you ask them where their clients are from, you may well find that you have to reach for your Smartphones to locate the answer. Where exactly are Luanda, Bishkek, Bamako, Riga? No territory is too remote.

The arbitration practitioner cuts a bold and fearless figure, travelling across the world to anywhere an arbitration agreement may exist, armed only with an iPhone with access to Google Translate. It is no wonder that many young lawyers want to join this elite corps of practitioners – perhaps there are too many of us, as Michael Schneider lamented today.

But there is an elephant in the room that we don’t talk about and that is the lack of inclusiveness in this profession. If you are an arbitrator or a member of a dispute settlement group in a major law firm you are probably not that concerned about it because your bottom line is quite good, or you know that you have a lot of arbitral appointments. But if we are to consider arbitration in the way ICCA would like us to – as a system of dispute settlement which should spread and grow around the world, then let us ask ourselves this: how long will the more 'exotic' parties that we represent continue to submit to a process in which they do not recognise themselves? Not just physically, but in terms of their ideas and approaches to dispute settlement?

In the last session, we heard a lot about rule-making and about refining the processes by which disputes are settled. If we want arbitration to continue and thrive, if we want ICCA 100 to be an opportunity for the celebration of the diversity and growth of this process that started 50 years ago with a small band of men, then we need to think about how we who are present today can make this process more inclusive. In that vein I would like to extend the idea proposed by Campbell McLachlan for a Congress in Africa and suggest that ICCA 2014 should be held in Africa."