“Aggregate Arbitration” – Or the Question of Whether Issue Preclusion Principles Are “Pro-Arbitration” - Chapter 98 - Pro-Arbitration Revisited: A Tribute to Professor George Bermann from his Students Over the Years
I had the great privilege and pleasure of taking Professor George Bermann’s course on international arbitration when I was an LLM student at Columbia Law School during the 2009–2010 academic year. Rarely have I met a professor so knowledgeable and so passionate about his area of study, teaching, and engaging with his students. It is therefore a great honour to be able to contribute to this book and to reflect on Professor Bermann’s legacy by thinking about what it means to be “pro-arbitration”.
By way of background, during my year at Columbia Law School, I was co-president of the Columbia International Arbitration Association and, in that capacity, I helped organize the first Columbia Arbitration Day that took place in April 2010. If my memory serves me well, it was Professor Bermann who came up with the title for this event: “Aggregate Arbitration”. Under this title, we debated topics dealing with arbitrations involving multiple parties, issues or proceedings, including inter alia the joinder and consolidation of multiple issues and parties into a single proceeding, as well as class action arbitrations.
“Aggregate Arbitration” then means bringing together multiple parties, issues and proceedings and thereby resolving complex, multi-faceted disputes in a manner that is time and cost-efficient.
Of course, the topic of “Aggregate Arbitration” and how the forces of efficiency, consistency, and expediency move arbitral tribunals when addressing multi-party, multi-issue, and multi-forum situations was (and still is) close to my heart.