Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, has been named as keynote speaker at the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) 2020 Edinburgh Congress.

The congress, which takes place from 10-13 May 2020, is expected to attract around 1,000 delegates from around the world, and will explore new ideas to adapt international arbitration to a fast-changing environment and to shape its future. 

Honorary President Sir David Edward QC will also speak, and Lord Carloway, Lord President of the Court of Session, has agreed to give the closing address. Scottish journalist and television presenter Kirsty Wark will be MC for the congress. The programme features 16 panels, as well as an opening and closing address, and a total of 85 participants, 69 of the panelists contributing as speakers and 16 as moderators.

Programme committee chairs Cavinder Bull, Loretta Malintoppi and Constantine Partasides commented: "Given Justice Arbour’s distinguished career devoted to, among many other subjects, the resolution of conflicts and the enhancement of justice and the rule of law around the world, we could think of no one better who embodied the ideas and values we seek to promote at this congress. The selection process included full consideration of the many candidates who applied through the competitive expressions of interest process as well as others suggested by the ICCA executive committee, the programme committee and the host committee.  We received an outpouring of interest, receiving applications from more than 280 applicants. It was not easy to choose from so many talented candidates!”  

Congress chair Brandon Malone added: "As hosts of the Congress, we at the Scottish Arbitration Centre are delighted with the speakers chosen and proud to see so many Scottish voices involved in a list that includes Centre directors, as well as members of our Arbitral Appointments Committee, our ICCA Edinburgh advisory board, and our ambassadors."

Andrew Mackenzie, chief executive of the Scottish Arbitration Centre, said: "I congratulate the programme committee on the outcome of its rigorous selection process, which involved careful consideration of candidates’ expertise in the relevant subject matter, gender, nationality, age, location, diversity of institutional representation and previous involvement in ICCA activities, including prior participation in ICCA Congresses. I am particularly delighted that the list includes some Scottish practitioners involved in the Centre, such as Janey Milligan, Lindy Patterson QC, Alison MacDonald QC and Nesreen Osman."

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