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2018 ICCA President's Report to the ICCA Membership

From ICCA President Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, February 2019

2018 was a busy and prosperous year for ICCA. We held our 24th Congress in Sydney in April and hosted and facilitated a number of smaller events throughout the year, including a Seminar on the Achmea judgment; over 100 new members joined ICCA; we elected a new General Editor for ICCA’s publications; we launched new projects and made good progress on current initiatives; and the list goes on! ICCA exists to promote greater understanding and knowledge of international arbitration and international dispute settlement globally – and in 2018 we succeeded in doing just that through our Membership, both of ICCA and Young ICCA, our publications, our events and projects.

ICCA’s Membership grew significantly this year and there were many new opportunities for members to engage with one another and with ICCA. Events such as the Congress, Young ICCA events or the New York Convention Roadshows provided networking opportunities and a chance to discuss substantive issues in the field.

ICCA Members were also encouraged to contribute to ICCA Projects by providing feedback on draft reports, like the ICCA-Queen Mary Task Force Report on Third-party Funding and the ICCA-NYC Bar-CPR Working Group on Cybersecurity Draft Protocol, and by attending workshops, such as the ICCA-ASIL Task Forces on Damages Seminars at the ICCA Congress and at the IBA Annual Conference. Thanks to all those Members who submitted feedback and/or attended a workshop or event.

We are also proud to report that the 7th edition of the ICCA Membership Directory was published and distributed in January 2019. A complete, fully searchable online version of the Directory is available at: https://www.arbitration-icca.org/members/search.html.

The ICCA Bureau produced two hard-copy newsletters last year, in addition to the monthly online newsletter. Members are encouraged to contribute to the hard-copy ICCA Newsletter by sharing their latest published works for announcement in the New Publications section, and by contacting the Bureau with ideas for our Historic Documents and Innovation in Arbitration sections. To do so, you can send an email to the ICCA Bureau at bureau@arbitration-icca.org.   

Our Young ICCA Membership base has also continued to grow, and I am happy to report that we now have over 5,000 Young ICCA members. During 2018, with the assistance of the Bureau and many ICCA members, Young ICCA hosted some 20 skills training workshops, facilitated the 5th cycle of the Young ICCA Mentoring Programme and prepared the next cycle. The 6th cycle of the Mentoring Programme was launched in early February of this year and we have already hosted our first Skill Training Workshop in 2019. You can follow Young ICCA’s activities on www.youngicca.org.

Our publications remain a cornerstone of our work in promoting international arbitration worldwide and we continue to make every effort to ensure that they provide relevant high-quality content for the arbitration community. In 2018, Prof. Albert Jan van den Berg stepped down from the role of General Editor ICCA Publications, a position he has held for 32 years. I cannot emphasize enough how grateful we are to Albert Jan for his valuable service to ICCA and its publications over more than three decades (make sure you take a look at Albert Jan’s illustrious journey with ICCA on the ICCA website).

Prof. Stephan Schill was selected to replace Prof. van den Berg as General Editor ICCA Publications. We are very pleased to have Prof. Schill on board and look forward to working with him. I am also happy to announce that ICCA Executive Director Lise Bosman has formally assumed the role of General Editor of the ICCA Handbook.

The ICCA Yearbook 2018 and the 19th edition of the ICCA Congress Series are now available online, as is Supplement 103 of the ICCA International Handbook on Commercial Arbitration. You can find all three publications, as well as their past editions and previous Supplements, on www.KluwerArbitration.com. In addition, ICCA’s Guide to the 1958 New York Convention is now available in 21 languages: Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, Croatian, English, Farsi, French, Georgian, Greek, Hebrew, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

All ICCA publications are produced with the assistance of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. For more information about ICCA’s publications, visit: https://www.arbitration-icca.org/publications.html.

In April 2018, we held our 24th ICCA Congress in Sydney, Australia. With more than 700 delegates, 16 panels and 50 speakers, the Congress served as a prime opportunity to connect practitioners from some 60 countries. Focusing on evolution and adaptation in arbitration, the 2018 Congress offered delegates insights into what the future of international arbitration might hold, as well as critical analysis of current issues in the field. For full video coverage of the Congress as well as the complete photo gallery, visit https://www.arbitration-icca.org/conferences-and-congresses/ICCA_2018_Congress_Sydney.html.

The Congress also served as a platform to develop and promote some of ICCA’s projects. A beta version of the ICCA-ASIL Task Force’s web application for quantifying damages was presented during a breakfast seminar. The Task Force held another seminar at the IBA Annual Conference to further develop the content of the app.  

The Congress also celebrated the launch of the Final Report of the ICCA-Queen Mary Task Force on Third-Party Funding, which is now available for download on the ICCA website: https://www.arbitration-icca.org/publications/Third-Party-Funding-Report.html.  During the Congress, the ICCA-NYC Bar-CPR Working Group on Cybersecurity in International Arbitration announced the release of its Draft Protocol and called for feedback from the arbitration community by 31 December 2018. The Task Force will now focus on developing the final product.

In 2018, ICCA established several new projects including the ISDS Watch Group and the Task Force on Standards of Practice in International Arbitration. Plans were also laid for two more projects which have now been launched: the ICCA IBA Joint Task Force on Data Protection and the ICCA-Guillermo Aguilar Alvarez Memorial Prize. For more information on any of these projects, please visit: https://www.arbitration-icca.org/projects.html.

Looking back at 2018 and ahead to the many events and projects planned for 2019, I am very proud to be associated with an organization that galvanizes and facilitates so many valuable initiatives. Thanks to all the ICCA Members, Young ICCA Members, Governing Board Members and Advisory Board Members for supporting ICCA and our mission to promote and develop international dispute settlement.