Welcome from Professor George Bermann
Now in its seventh year, Columbia Arbitration Day (“CAD”) has become a fixture on the international arbitration community’s annual calendar—and for good reason. The event has a sterling reputation, even alongside the many fine programs that populate the field. Attainment of this status is all the more impressive due to the fact that the Columbia International Arbitration Association (CIAA) has made this possible with minimal reliance on the faculty and administration of the Law School. It is a tribute to the initiative, resourcefulness and energy of the student organizers.
The theme this year, like those of years past, is central to the health and vitality of the international arbitration regime, both commercial and investor-State. New challenges seem to be a constant for international arbitration, a reality that helps make the field the dynamic and ever-changing one that it is. This year’s program reflects the CIAA’s attunement to the nature and importance of the challenges that the regime currently faces. Criticism of arbitration is as robust as ever, and the more fora that explore the critiques, the better.
The roster of speakers is also as magnificent as ever. That too is a product of CIAA’s energy and ambition in attracting the best and brightest to address us on this occasion. It is a genuine tribute to the program that invitees accept with alacrity invitations to speak at CAD.
I am delighted to be back at the law school this academic year after a substantial health-related absence, and witnessing and modestly contributing to the achievements of our international arbitration-minded students – both JD and LLM – is among this homecoming’s brightest aspects.
And so, along with the Dean and CIAA, I welcome you to this year’s installment of CAD. I have every confidence that you will find the day as instructive as it is enjoyable. Thank you for being part of it.
Professor George A. Bermann
Director, Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration Columbia Law School