Inaugural Lecture LLM
In his inaugural lecture “International Arbitration: Past, Present and Future” Gary Born will give an overview of the history of international arbitration and address contemporaneous and future challenges that the practice of international arbitration faces. Looking back at the origins of the practice in what is present day Iraq, he will trace the evolution of the field over the medieval ages in Europe, where arbitration was used to resolve commercial disputes between merchants at trade fairs, to the present days where international arbitration has achieved unparalleled growth and recognition. As a legal system, international arbitration is premised on positive judicial and legislative engagement, both on the domestic and international plane. This positive legislative engagement is embodied in large part in two crucial instruments, the 1958 New York Convention and the UNCITRAL Model Law. Complimenting the New York Convention, the Model Law requires national courts to recognize and enforce arbitration agreements and restricts the grounds to challenge arbitral awards to limited exceptions. Despite this trajectory of growth, international arbitration has in recent years faced criticisms from various sides, politics, judiciary, society, questioning the bases of its practice. Although this “backlash” against arbitration is commonly perceived as a novelty, arbitration has in fact encountered, and overcome, similar criticisms in past centuries. The future of international arbitration thus depends on the lessons learned from the past.