May I first congratulate Emmanuel Gaillard for having taken the initiative in organising this conference on what is indeed a very topical issue. It was with pleasure that I accepted his kind invitation to chair this first of the two panels of the Conference. And the very large attendance I now see by eminent colleagues not only from Paris but from a number of other European cities confirms that the topic is considered by many as interesting and relevant for the theory and practice of international arbitration.
With the steadily growing number of arbitration cases all over the world and the awards resulting from them, parties, their lawyers and arbitrators also have a growing interest to receive information on earlier cases and resulting awards which may have dealt with similar factual or legal issues as in the case at hand.
The traditional confidentiality of arbitration, for many parties—be they enterprises or States—a major argument to choose arbitration as their preferred method of dispute settlement, on the other side has the effect of a lack of transparency of arbitral jurisprudence and the risk of an appearance of a lack of continuity and even arbitrariness of decisions of arbitrators in comparable cases.