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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 >>

Patrick Miller ICCA 50th Anniversary Speech

My name is Patrick Miller.  I am originally from Michigan and I was fortunate enough to study international arbitration at the University of Miami.  A few weeks ago, I began my professional life in Paris.

Unlike most of you who’ve benefited from—in some cases—as much as 50 years of experience, whose hard work and dedication have brought this field to where it is today, I still have much to learn.  I have only modest questions and suppositions.  And I thank you for the opportunity to evoke with you an idea which is of concern to many in my generation.  I would like to put this in the form of a question, which I believe all of us, young and old, must address over the next 50 years.

The authority of arbitrators stems from the notion that their decisions will be seen as legitimate in the eyes of the wider community.  And legitimacy depends in large part on the openness and accountability of the arbitral system as a whole.  Without this essential feature of legitimacy, international arbitration would cease to serve its valuable function—to settle international disputes peacefully, to minimize disruption to the international transactions on which the global community depends.

If we look to the other side of the coin, the perception of illegitimacy is the consequence, notably, of opacity and entrenchment of personal influence in the functioning of the system of international arbitration—once they have convinced the parties to grant them the power of arbitral authority.

So I’d like to ask this.  Will those who develop arbitral rules and institutions see themselves as working for the professional benefit of a few arbitrators and lawyers?  Is their enterprise the establishment of networks of personal influence?  Or will they understand that arbitration’s great advances will be reversed unless the broader community can see and understand what they are doing, and be convinced that they are indeed pursuing the general interest?

We, the neophytes, perhaps take for granted the conscious and patient efforts, you, our predecessors, have made to establish arbitration’s legitimacy in the international community.  But we do understand, or at least we should understand, that it is the responsibility of our generation to be on the right side of this equation—and for this too, we will continue to need you to set the good example.

Thank you so much for listening.