SERGEI LEBEDEV: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have been invited to be the chair for this session. My name is Sergei Lebedev, I am the professor of the Moscow Institute of International Relations, and I am President of the Maritime Arbitration Commission at the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
When I was invited to chair this meeting, I expected that it would be a small meeting, something in camera. But it turns out that we have more than 200 participants in this meeting. The explanation I believe is clear: Stockholm has been for a long time a major centre of international arbitration, and many companies from different countries, including Russia, often use the services of arbitration facilities in this country. For this reason, it is clear that the analysis of the new arbitration legislation in this country is of great importance.
I believe that the young lawyers have been educated in this period in terms of the new 1999 Arbitration Act, but older people still have in their memory the Arbitration Act of 1929, which was in operation for 70 years. Just to determine the new approaches established by the new law is of great practical and, I believe, theoretical importance and significance.
The new Swedish Arbitration Act does not contain the provision which is in the preamble of the UNCITRAL Model Law of International Commercial Arbitration, speaking about this method of settlement of disputes being widely used in international commerce. If we address the provisions of the Swedish Arbitration Act relating to arbitration with international connection, we shall find and determine that the Swedish legislature has attracted very much attention to the international aspects of arbitration in Sweden.