This year marks a full century since the ICC Court was established in 1923.  Yesterday, I was joined by ICC Secretary General John W. H. Denton AO, ICC Court Secretary General Alexander G. Fessas, and ICC Managing Counsel Ziva Filipic, in a global, on-line launch of our centenary celebration.

The ICC Court was created with the purpose of enabling businesses to transact commerce across borders with the confidence that they would have a reliable means of resolving disputes with parties from a different country.  In doing so, it has played a seminal role in making arbitration the preferred means of resolving disputes by international business.

To celebrate our centenary, ICC has organized conversations to take place all over the world in the course of 2023. I invite readers to attend and participate enthusiastically.

Above all, however, I wish to share our vision to kick off the ICC Court’s next 100 years, the ICC Centenary Declaration on Dispute Prevention and Resolution. I anticipated some of the key concepts during my September 2022 interview on Kluwer’s International Law Talk podcast. As well as remaining faithful to the ICC Court’s original core purposes, the Declaration sets out commitments and principles for the development of further pioneering ICC dispute resolution tools and services to serve the global business community, meaning businesses of all sizes, sectors, and geographies.

  1. Access to justice and the rule of law
    to ensure access to justice and the rule of law by providing accessible, affordable, predictable and efficient dispute prevention and resolution services to everyone, every day, everywhere,
  2. Independence and neutrality`
    to hold fast to its founding belief that an independent and neutral dispute prevention and resolution process, free from influence and political dynamics, is key to enabling business and investment, and the legitimacy of that process,
  3. Thought leadership
    to drive thought leadership in dispute prevention and resolution through innovative services, best practices and standards that meet the evolving needs of an ever-wider range of businesses and markets, to enable the requisite legal frameworks, including the enforceability of arbitral awards,
  4. Global community and local engagement
    to increase the reach of arbitration and ADR, by building a global community through local engagement and forging long-lasting connections,
  5. Transparency
    to improve transparency in the dispute prevention and resolution process, enabling the democratisation of information, consistency and a greater understanding and trust in the process, while respecting legitimate expectations of confidentiality,
  6. Training and capacity building
    to provide training and capacity building to strengthen disputes infrastructure globally, investing in the legal and business communities to maximise the potential of all,
  7. Technology
    to lead the transformation of dispute prevention and resolution, by amplifying the benefit of the digitalised economy, and leveraging technology to deliver efficient and pioneering solutions,
  8. Diversity, equity and inclusion
    to build on our ground-breaking work on diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of dispute prevention and resolution, including all stakeholders in the process,
  9. Sustainability
    to adopt sustainability measures to minimise our own environmental footprint by reducing energy consumption and waste, and supporting bold action to tackle climate change, and
  10. Cooperation
    to work across ICC and in partnership with like-minded purpose-driven organisations and individuals globally, guided by our belief that access to justice and the rule of law enables peace and prosperity.

Why have we issued this declaration?  The answer is simple.  In 1923, the ICC Court was founded from a bold vision of how key challenges to global business could be addressed. In 2023, we must also be bold.  As the President of the ICC Court – the first woman president in fact – I hope that future generations will reflect on our achievements in driving change in preventing and resolving disputes, and that they will do so with the same reverence that we have for our predecessors.


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