Welcome from Professor Bermann
I am delighted to welcome you to today's fifth annual Columbia Arbitration Day. There are many reasons to celebrate it -- among them the fact that CAD is truly a student production in which Columbia faculty play bit parts as advisors and occasional participants. I simply marvel at the combination of student initiative, talent and determination upon which CAD's success invariably depends. One of the reasons for the impressive range and quality of today's panelists is the willingness and ability of students to reach out themselves for speakers to a world-wide group of accomplished persons with whom they have individually had the privilege of both studying and working.
I am particularly gratified by this year's theme which, perhaps more than any other, is breaking new ground, for it confronts squarely the challenges raised by the multiplicity of differently fora and regimes in which the same or related disputes -- be they commercial or investment -- are emerging. These are challenges that go to the very heart and nature of the polycentric international dispute resolution world in which we increasingly operate.
Having worked particularly closely with this year's student organizers, I know only too well how much intellectual ambition and organizational acumen they have brought to the enterprise. It is my profound regret that illness - but fortunately illness from which I am steadily recovering - keeps me from being an active participant in this year’s proceedings (or even an attendee).
I have every confidence that CAD 2014 will not only be enjoyed, but long remembered.
With sincerest regards,
Professor George A. Bermann
Director, Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration
Columbia Law School