I Belgrade Arbitration Conference
On 27 March 2009 the Belgrade University Faculty of Law hosted the I Belgrade Arbitration Conference, a large international scientific reunion dedicated to commercial arbitration. This event brought to Belgrade the world’s most distinguished experts in the field of international commercial arbitration, including the Secretary of United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), Mr. Renaud Sorieul.
The Conference attracted over 300 lawyers coming from Serbia, countries in the region and some 20 countries in the world, including the professors and practitioners from New Zealand, South Africa, United States and Mexico. (See Conference Program)
The working part of the Conference was preceded by an opening ceremony during which the participants were welcomed by Professor Dr. Miodrag Jovanović, vice-dean of our Faculty, Mr. Dragan Đilas, mayor of Belgrade, Mr. Renaud Sorieul, Secretary of UNCITRAL, Ms. Judith Knieper on behalf of GTZ Open Regional Fund for South East Europe and Professor Dr. Gašo Knežević, President of the Foreign Trade Court of Arbitration attached to the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and full professor at our Faculty.
The Conference was divided into three parts. The six papers presented in the first part discussed the general issues concerning the arbitration agreement and arbitrability. The first part of the conference was chaired by Dr. Vladimir Pavić, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of the Belgrade University and Dr. Davor Babić, Assistant Professor at the Zagreb University Faculty of Law, and speakers included professors and practitioners from Switzerland, Austria, Germany, UK and US (Prof. Jack Graves, Prof. Ronald Brand, Dr. Stavros Brekoulakis, Dr. Michael Mraz, Dr. Christian Dorda and Dr. Marie Louise Seelig). The second part of the Conference was dedicated to the selected procedural issues. During this part of the Conference five papers were presented by again leading list of scholars and practitioners from this area: Prof. Tibor Varady, judge Karl Peter Puszkajler, Prof. Vesna Lazić, Mrs. Maria Theresa Trofaier and Mr. Bent Sjövall. The moderators of this part of the Conference were Dr. Loukas Mistelis, Professor at Queen Mary University of London and highly distinguished expert in international commercial arbitration and Dr. Christian Köller, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of Vienna University. During the last part of the Conference, which was moderated by Dr. Maja Stanivuković, Professor at the Faculty of Law of the Novi Sad University and Mrs. Milena Đorđević, LL.M., lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the Belgrade University, the participants at the Conference had the honor to listen to presentations on the perspectives of international commercial arbitration given by Mr. Renaud Sorieul, Prof. Eric Bergsten, Dr. Georgios Petrochilos, Dr. Gerold Zeiler and Dr. Fabian von Schlabrendorff.
The organization of the Belgrade Arbitration Conference was one of the headlines at the most important internet portals dedicated to international commercial arbitration throughout the world. A special attention to this event was given by UNCITRAL, as the Belgrade Arbitration Conference was listed in their official CLOUT Bulletin which presents the most important developments in the field of international trade law and commercial arbitration. By the number of participants, competence and professional authority of the speakers, quality of papers and importance of their topics, the Belgrade Arbitration Conference represented one of the most important events this spring not only in the region but on a world scale as well. Our Faculty successfully organized such an important international meeting of experts and professionals and showed that Belgrade has well deserved a place on the list of the world’s most prestigious arbitral centers.
Members of the Organizing Committee of the Conference were Dr. Mirko Vasiljević, Dr. Gašo Knežević, Dr. Vladimir Pavić and Mrs. Milena Đorđević, LL.M. Apart from the Faculty of Law of the Belgrade University, the head organizers of the Conference were also GTZ Open Regional Fund for South East Europe, Foreign Trade Court of Arbitration attached to the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Belgrade City Hall and the Serbian Ministry of Science and Technological Development. The organization of the Conference was generously supported by the International Finance Corporation, the Royal Dutch Embassy and several law firms: Baklaja-Igrić-Mujezinović in cooperation with Clyde & Co., Karanović-Nikolić, CMS Belgrade, Moravčević-Vojnović-Zdravković in cooperation with Schönherr, Prica & Partners and Živković-Samardžić.