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The topic given to Prof. Taniguchi and myself for this opening session is a question, "Is there a growing international arbitration culture?" This seems to call for a survey of attitudes and practices peculiar to international arbitration in order to answer the question. The more extended comment of the organizers assumes, as most of us would, however, that such a culture exists, and assigns to us the task of considering what laws and rules are now being developed to implement this "international culture". We also noted that the organizers expressed their conviction that this Conference must have practical and cultural results. I have interpreted this to call for something more that just a definition of terms and a description of significant developments, even in this first session, and will include in my remarks therefore some concrete suggestions as to what ICCA might do to further improve and implement this international arbitration culture.

In the process of preparing these papers we were helped immeasurably by suggestions submitted by our commentators, as well as, of course, by the writings of many, many colleagues who are here at this Conference. As might be expected, it was suggested that before we try to see whether it is growing we should address the question of just what is meant by "an international arbitration culture". I think that if you look in the program at the topics, you will already see what the organizers were thinking about when they used this term. They were thinking about how various techniques of dispute resolution are working together in the multicultural international context; the extent to which arbitrators in international arbitrations separate themselves and their arbitrations from the particularities of national systems; and how far courts have developed special international standards in their assistance and enforcement roles in connection with international arbitrations.


Reprinted from International Dispute Resolution: Towards an International Arbitration Culture, 1998, 23-30, with permission of Kluwer Law International.