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This document is part of the ICC Dispute Resolution Library.
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Publisher: Image of Publisher which is The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC DRL)
Type: Books
Publication Date: 24 October 2022
Language: English
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A historical perspective


1. At the time Alexis Mourre closed the door of his office at the end of six years spent as President of the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) International Court of Arbitration, he left behind an institution which corresponds to the dream of its founders.

2. Obviously, nobody would suggest that this should be attributed to Alexis’ presidency. It is the result of a long evolution since the creation of the ICC Court of Arbitration in 1923 to which he contributed largely and that he accelerated. This evolution, which needs to be continued, is characterised by one major feature: a continuous crusade to make commercial arbitration always more international.

3. When I applied to join the Secretariat of the Court in 1971, I was interviewed by Frédéric Eisenman, the then Secretary General of the Court. After a long conversation, he asked me whether I was prepared to fight a crusade for international arbitration. It was not a joke. He meant it. He was describing himself as a ‘crusader’ with the mission to provide the international community with a truly international system of resolving commercial disputes. It was the legacy of the founders of ICC Arbitration. As pointed out in the first version of the ICC Rules of Arbitration, the Court of Arbitration was created in order to place at the disposal of ‘financiers, manufacturers and business men of all countries' an international organisation capable of settling international commercial disputes ‘without recourse to formal legal procedure’.

4. On 19 January 1923, when the ICC Court of Arbitration was inaugurated this was a completely new approach. This was explained well by Claire Lemercier and Jérôme Sgard in their report on international arbitration and globalisation: comparing the already existing London Court of Arbitration to ICC’s initiative, they show that while the former didn’t differentiate between domestic and international cases, the latter

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