George Bermann: A Scholar and a Friend - Chapter 34 - Reflections on International Arbitration
I first encountered George Bermann in the early 2000s when we were both teaching in Paris. There was an immediate intellectual and personal spark that continues today. When I met his wife, Sandie, I knew we would be friends for life. Since then, we have continued to teach together, shared meals—in Paris, Princeton, and La Jolla—and collaborated on the American Law Institute’s Restatement on International Arbitration, which George led as the chief reporter with remarkable grace and academic rigor.
Others will celebrate George’s contribution to the world of international arbitration. Instead, I reflect on the extraordinary changes in the European legal landscape spawned by developments in the digital world since our first meeting in Paris. Facebook was not a company, GDPR was not a recognized acronym, and Europe had yet to make its mark in the regulation of technology markets. Just as George’s earlier work foreshadowed the role of cultural values, the rise of transnational litigation, and the importance of environmental protection, consumer rights and health and safety in shaping this landscape, his future scholarship will undoubtedly underscore the importance of the digital world and Europe’s role in the global debate about technology regulation. In the same way that George declared that “international arbitration and the European Union may be described, without hyperbole, as on a collision course,” so too the European Union and the tech world may be described, without hyperbole, as on a collision course.