Welcome from Professor George Bermann
It is with enormous pleasure that I participate in welcoming you to today’s sixth annual Columbia Arbitration Day (“CAD”). This year’s edition of CAD, like its predecessors, is the product of the exceptional talent, energy and resourcefulness of Columbia Law School students committed to a heightened understanding and appreciation of international arbitration in the resolution of international commercial and investment disputes. The roster of speakers that Columbia International Arbitration Association (CIAA) has assembled continues to be a glorious one, enabling CAD to have become a premier venue on the calendar of world-wide international arbitration events.
Like the student organizers, I have been struck by the durability over the years of particular challenges to the international arbitration system. This year’s program has the merit of re-focusing on problems that have proved, in varying degrees, intractable, in the expectation that renewed attention to them will pay dividends.
I was unable due to illness to participate directly in last year’s CAD, but at the time fully expected to once again, in 2015, be as deeply involved in the event as in prior years. That, unfortunately, was not to be, due to the illness’ unexpectedly long duration. But I am deeply pleased to have made the progress that enables me today not only to welcome you to this year’s CAD, but to participate actively in it. It has been difficult being for so long at such a physical remove from the classroom, from live CICIA events and from other occasions to work with the remarkably committed arbitration-minded students whom Columbia attracts and whom Columbia seeks to serve.
I can think of no better occasion than Columbia Arbitration Day 2015 on which to visibly rejoin, and reaffirm my commitment to, the international arbitration community of which Columbia Law School, through CICIA and CIAA and their members, is such a pillar.
I have every confidence that attendees will emerge from CAD 2015 with an enhanced appreciation of international arbitration’s challenges and of paths to effectively meeting them.
With sincerest regards,
Professor George A. Bermann
Director, Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration Columbia Law School