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ICCA's New York Convention Roadshow Goes Online

A Report from ICCA Executive Director Lise Bosman

“Welcome to ICCA online!” With these words, former ICCA President and New York Convention expert Professor Albert Jan van den Berg welcomed Ghanaian judges to ICCA’s first ever online sessions on the application of the 1958 New York Convention (NYC), devised for the Ghanaian judiciary. In a successful experiment with a new format, ICCA hosted three consecutive webinars on 29 and 30 June and 1 July for judges from the Ghanaian High Court, Appeal Court and Supreme Courts. The remote sessions connected to the Accra-based Judicial Training Institute of Ghana (JTI), where Ghanaian High Court, Appeal Court and Supreme Court judges gathered for presentations on the Convention.

ICCA Executive Director Lise Bosman kicked-off the sessions with an introduction to ICCA’s history and activities, highlighting ICCA’s long involvement with the NYC – starting with the role played by ICCA’s co-founder Pieter Sanders in the drafting of the Convention, and continuing through ICCA’s reporting on New York Convention court judgments in the ICCA Yearbook since the mid-1970s, with the Yearbook now including over 2500 reported decisions on the Convention. Ms Bosman noted that ICCA’s involvement was further strengthened from 2012, with the launch of its “New York Convention Roadshow” programme. Since the launch of the programme, ICCA has hosted over 30 in-person colloquia with national court judges on five continents on the application of the Convention.

ICC Vice-President and President of the ICC’s Africa Commission Ndanga Kamau then provided an overview of the field of international commercial arbitration, stressing the relevance of the NYC for national court judiciaries in Africa. Albert Jan van den Berg provided concise insights into the correct interpretation and application of the New York Convention, before yielding the screen to former Ghanaian Supreme Court Justice, Professor Samuel Kofi Date-Bah, who drew the threads together, examining how the Convention is applied within Ghanaian arbitration law and practice. Active questioning from judges closed the sessions.

Speakers made use of ICCA’s Guide to the Interpretation of the 1958 New York Convention, now available in 23 languages. The webinars were co-hosted with the ICC Africa Commission and the Ghanaian Judicial Training Institute, and we thank them for this very fruitful collaboration. Particular thanks go to Justice Samuel Marful-Sau, head of the JTI, for his kind offices in enabling this collaboration. All ICCA Yearbook reported decisions on the Convention are available through KluwerArbitration.com.

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