Professor Pieter Sanders has played a unique role in the development of the system of international commercial arbitration over a period of more than 65 years since World War II. The key role that he played as a principal drafter of the 1958 United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention”, a cornerstone of modern international arbitration practice) and his contribution to the development of other harmonizing instruments as special consultant to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law for the preparation of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 1976 is well-known to members of the arbitration community.
These remarkable achievements were strengthened by Professor Sanders’ founding of ICCA in 1961, which grew out of a series of meetings between Professor Sanders and fellow arbitration practitioners gathered in Geneva for the negotiations of the European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration.
ICCA has since grown to convene international arbitration congresses and conferences in all regions of the world and to publish authoritative dispute resolution publications, including the Yearbook Commercial Arbitration, the International Handbook of Commercial Arbitration (which was established in 1984 with Professor Sanders as its first General Editor), the ICCA Congress Series, and ICCA's 2011 “Guide to the Interpretation of the 1958 New York Convention” (with a Foreword by Professor Sanders) now available in multiple languages and distributed free of charge to judges worldwide.
ICCA marked its 50th Anniversary in 2011 with a special Conference in Geneva, celebrating a half century in which it has been devoted to the promotion and improvement of arbitration, conciliation and other forms of international commercial dispute resolution. At its 2012 Congress in Singapore, ICCA opened its membership to all and launched a series of new projects aimed at meeting its goals in the field of arbitration. During all these years, Professor Sanders has been an active member of the ICCA Council (the new Governing Board), including serving two terms as ICCA’s President between 1978 and 1986 and acting as General Editor of ICCA’s Yearbook and Handbook throughout much of the 1970s and 1980s. Through his 100th year, he has continued to advise ICCA Council members on ICCA policy and to provide inspiration for ICCA’s young practitioner’s grouping, Young ICCA, founded in 2010.
We are proud to honour Pieter Sanders on his 100th birthday, and to thank him for his years of service to ICCA.