Professor Tang Houzhi (1925 - 2020)

It is with great sadness that ICCA marks the passing of ICCA Advisory Board Member Professor Tang Houzhi on 2 March 2020 at the age of 95. With him, the international arbitration community mourns the loss of a true pioneer, a leader in his region of the world and internationally.


Professor Tang was a long-standing Member of the ICCA leadership body, serving on ICCA’s council until 2000 and as an Advisory Board Member since then. Professor Tang’s academic career included posts as Professor of Law at the People’s University of China, visiting Professor of Amoy Unviersity School of Law, and an honorary Professor of Hong Kong City University School of Law.


In addition, Professor Tang’s extensive experience in international commercial dispute resolution includes service as Vice-Chairman of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), Vice-Chairman of the Beijing Conciliation Centre, a Court Member of the London International Arbitration Court, and Vice President of the International Federation of Commercial Arbitration Institutions (IFCAI).


There remain many ICCA Members who were touched by Prof. Tang’s presence within the organisation, the field of arbitration, and their lives as individual practitioners. Fellow ICCA Advisory Board Member Michael Hwang is among them. He remembers his encounters with Prof. Tang in Beijing fondly.


“I came to China more regularly after [the first ICCA conference in China, held in Beijing in] 2004, and whenever I was in Beijing attending some conference or seminar, I would usually meet up with Prof. Tang. As you well know, he was a warm and friendly person and there was much to admire in him, his intellect, his experience and the way he spoke, slowly and clearly, but making every word important and memorable…. The arbitration world is poorer for this loss, but his memory will live on for a long time.”


ICCA President Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler paid tribute on behalf of ICCA, saying “We celebrate his life and his many achievements, and extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, inside and outside China.”