Academic journal article Proceedings of the Annual Meeting-American Society of International Law

Restating the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration

Academic journal article Proceedings of the Annual Meeting-American Society of International Law

Restating the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration

Article excerpt

This panel was convened at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, April 10, by its moderator, Andrea Bjorklund of University of California, Davis, School of Law, who introduced the panelists: George Bermann of Columbia Law School; Catherine Kessedjian of Universite de Paris II; Peter Trooboff of Covington & Burling LLP; and Judge Diane Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. *

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS BY ANDREA BJORKLUND ([dagger])

I am Andrea Bjorkhind. I teach at the University of California, Davis, School of Law. I am sorry that Carolyn Lamm, who was initially to have moderated this panel, will not be able to join us, as she has been detained in a hearing. I have no doubt that her hearing would have gone much more smoothly, and she would have been able to come, had they only had the ability to have recourse to a new Restatement of Arbitration.

It is my very great pleasure to introduce to you this distinguished panel. As they are all luminaries in their respective fields, they are doubtless well enough known to you already that I can cut my introductions short.

Our first panelist will be George Bermann, the Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law and Walter Gellhorn Professor of Law at Columbia University School of Law. He is an expert in comparative law and in transnational arbitration and litigation. He is the Chief Reporter of the Restatement Project, and he will talk about its impetus and proposed scope.

Our next speaker will be Judge Diane Wood. She is, of course, a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she taught at the University of Chicago Law School, where she held the Harold J. and Marion F. Green Professorship in International Legal Studies. She has also worked in both the Justice and State Departments and is known to many of us as the federal judge who is most knowledgeable about international law. She will give the view from the bench as to what judges might look for from this proposed Restatement Project.

Peter Trooboff is a partner at Covington and Burling here in Washington, D.C. He is a past president of the American Society of International Law and has more than thirtyfive years of international trade and litigation experience. He has supervised a number of investigations of violations of U.S. foreign trade controls and serves as counsel and arbitrator in international arbitrations with particular expertise in proceedings arising from claims based on international law, and he will give us the practitioner's perspective on the project.

Finally, it is my very great pleasure to introduce Catherine Kessedjian, who is Deputy Director of the European College of Paris and Professor of European business law, private international law, international dispute resolution and international commercial arbitration at the University of Pantheon Assas, Paris II. From 1996 to 2000, Professor Kessedjian was Deputy Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, where she was in charge of the preparation and monitoring of the negotiations for a proposed worldwide convention on jurisdiction and judgments. She will give us the international view and, I hope, the benefit of her expertise on the harmonization and codification projects that she developed while working at the Hague Conference.

* The panel wishes to thank Meghan Mattimoe, who served as reporter for this panel, and Anna Beier-Pedrazzi, who prepared the following edited transcript.

([dagger]) Professor of Law, University of California, Davis, School of Law.

REMARKS BY GEORGE BERMANN *

What I hope to do with suitable brevity is to do exactly as requested by Andrea, namely say something about the impetus for the Restatement project and something about its intended scope (and the problems associated with defining that scope).

By way of introduction, as I sat through yesterday morning's program of the Institute of Transnational Arbitration on the promises and perils of soft law in international commercial arbitration, I was struck by the unique place that Restatements of the Law occupy on the landscape of soft law. …

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