Back in June 2012, we wrote about a speech delivered by The Honourable The Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon (“Menon CJ“) while he was the Attorney-General at the 21st International Council for Commercial Arbitration.
As we had written then,
[Menon CJ] called on the international arbitration community to self-regulate, put in place a code of conduct and ensure practitioners are up to acceptable standards.
[Menon CJ] raised particular concerns about “runaway” costs of arbitration and suggested that a unified code of conduct should be put in place to serve as a reference guide for arbitrators globally. The code would include rules on the fixing of costs.
[Menon CJ] also discussed the possibility of arbitral bodies acting as regulators in the way Bar associations do for lawyers and said that arbitral bodies could impose sanctions based on an internationally approved list of penalty benchmarks.
[Menon CJ] ended on a positive note however, saying: “The growth in numbers is testament to the fact that, despite all the worries and concerns that I have canvassed, arbitration is still the only choice for many who seek resolution to their disputes”.
Agreeing with [Menon CJ]’s comments about the need for self-regulation Professor Jan Paulsson, president of ICCA, said in his closing speech: “The time to innovate and reform is when you do so from a position of strength, not when you are heading to crash in the sand and are doing so out of desperation”.
Menon CJ’s speech has been awarded the Global Arbitration Review’s “Best Lecture or Speech Award for 2012”, beating out very stiff competition in the process. The other nominees for that award and their lectures/speeches were:
- Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel, “Commercial and Investment Arbitration – How Different are they Today?” (Lalive Lecture)
- Gary Born,”BITs, BATs, and Buts” (Kiev Arbitration Day)
- Charles Brower, “The Death of the Two-headed Nightingale” (ITA Winter Workshop)
- Charles Brower, “Is Anything REALLY Wrong With International Arbitration As We Know It?” (Fordham Law School conference on international arbitration and mediation)
- Jan Paulsson, “Universal Arbitration – What We Gain, What We Lose” (Alexander Lecture) and “Do allegations of public policy condemn international arbitration to being unpredictable?” (the first Seoul Arbitration Lecture)
- Lucy Reed, “Arbitral Decision-making: Art, Science or Sport?” (Kaplan Lecture)
- Michael Reisman, “Case Specific Mandates versus Systemic Implications: How Should Investment Tribunals Decide?” (Freshfields Arbitration Lecture)
- David W Rivkin, “The Impact of International Arbitration on the Rule of Law” (Clayton Utz Lecture)
- David AR Williams QC, “Defining the Role of Courts in Modern International Commercial Arbitration” (Herbert Smith Freehills-Singapore Management University Arbitration Lecture)
Our heartiest congratulations to the Honourable Chief Justice and we look forward to more of such speeches, lecturers and decisions.