Professor Giorgio Bernini (1928 - 2020)

It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of ICCA Honorary President Professor Giorgio Bernini on 22 October 2020 at the age of 91. 


Professor Bernini was a long-standing Member of the ICCA leadership body. Elected to the then ICCA Council in 1973, he also served as ICCA President from 1986 - 1994 and then as an Advisory Board Member. An active contributor to ICCA publications, Professor Bernini authored the first “National Report Italy” in the Handbook on Commercial Arbitration, detailing developments and changes to Italian arbitration law and practice. He is also recorded as having acted as rapporteur at the New Delhi Congress in 1975, rapporteur at the Bologna Conference on “The Authority of Arbitrators” in 1987, and author of the “Synthesis Report” at the Tokyo Conference in 1988. 


In 1986, Professor Bernini was elected president of ICCA – an office that he held until 1994. Making a commitment to contribute to widening acceptance of the 1958 New York Convention, he recognised the challenges of solely focusing on countries where arbitration was favoured and aimed to highlight regions seeking to develop and strengthen international arbitration practice. In 1987, coinciding with the ICCA Council’s annual meeting in Bologna, Professor Bernini started the tradition of holding local conferences in the year between the larger biennial ICCA Congresses. It was also during his presidency that the 1993 ICCA Conference took place in Bahrain, the first to be held in the Middle East, furthering efforts to promote geographic diversity in international arbitration across cultural, legal and economic differences.


We join the Bernini family in celebrating Professor Giorgio Bernini’s remarkable life and accomplishments.