I first met Piet in 2008 when I started working on the ICCA publications. Visiting his house in Schiedam — having been warned that anything you touch might be a piece of art — I made my way very carefully up the stairs (elbows firmly pressed to my sides) to a study filled with books, journals, offprints, and of course all the ICCA publications. At the time a man of 96 years old, he met me with vigour and a number of good ideas to develop the ICCA Handbook. Started by Piet in early 1984 with a rather motley collection of country reports from France, India, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, USA and USSR, the Handbook has since grown to cover over 70 jurisdictions, including several newcomers to arbitration added at his suggestion within the last few years.
That first tentative visit in 2008 was followed by many working visits, often ending with a modest Dutch “broodjeslunch” with one or two slices of wholewheat bread, a piece of fruit and either milk or buttermilk. Among other projects, we worked together on ICCA’s Guide to the Interpretation of the New York Convention, exchanged views on the drafting of the 2010 UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules and filmed an extensive interview to mark ICCA’s 50th Anniversary in 2011. The filming of this interview was rendered memorable not only by the snowstorm that closed off the Dutch highways that night, but also by Piet’s answer to our final question “What has kept you so youthful all these years?” Not “arbitration” or “my law practice” or even “my modest and healthy diet”, but “thanks to the art — that has kept me young!” (The full interview is posted on the ICCA website at http://www.arbitration-icca.org/historic-treasures/profsanders.html).
Lise Bosman, executive editor ICCA Publications