Current Developments - ARIA - Vol. 23 No. 2 2012
Mauro Rubino-Sammartano, President, European Court of Arbitration.
Originally from American Review of International Arbitration - ARIA
It seems appropriate that the opening address of the International School of
Arbitration and Mediation of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, which has
been instituted by our European Court of Arbitration, be delivered in Venice, the
unique aristocratic Republic with glorious trade and maritime traditions with
Europe and the East. These traditions, thanks to Marco Polo, reached China, while
two other great Italian explorers, Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci,
respectively discovered the Americas and gave these new continents their name.
These are traditions which, in this world dominated by materialism, may have
been forgotten by many, but not by those who have done their classics and who
wish that the Mediterranean would come back to discharge – on an intellectual
level – the great role which has always characterized it.
Since the seventeenth century the center of business, and of military and
political power, has moved away from “mare nostrum,” and the old civilizations
of the Mediterranean and Middle East have been unable, separately, to remain top
players in the new intellectual and spiritual set up of the world. However, united,
they may find again their ancient intellectual strength and faith.
This seems to me to be the goal in order to give to our new generation this
opportunity and a greater intellectual drive.
This is not to oppose other civilizations, but to discuss and to participate with
them in that intellectual movement, which is a great driver of human beings.
The reflections which I propose that we share today concern arbitration and
our territory. Much has been and is being written in this respect. It is frequently
said that one does not see a tree because his/her attention is absorbed by the forest.
Others do not see the forest because they concentrate too much on a single tree. I
would propose another metaphor: We do not know a tree if we are unable to
understand its roots. I suggest, then, that we try to dig in this direction in the
ground of arbitration.