Pledge for Greener Arbitration


Green-Arbitration-PledgeThe aptly named Lucy Greenwood is promoting the idea of a Pledge for Greener Arbitrations. Excellent idea – here it is:

  • At all times during the arbitration I will consider and question the need to fly;

  • At all times during the arbitration I will only correspond through electronic means unless hard copy correspondence is expressly required in the circumstances;

  • As an arbitrator, I will not request hard copies of documents to be provided to me;

  • As an arbitrator, I will discourage the use of hard copy bundles in hearing rooms;

  • As an arbitrator, I will suggest, and as counsel I will consider, where appropriate, that witnesses give evidence through video-link rather than attend hearings in person;

  • I will review the level of air conditioning in hearing rooms;

  • As an arbitrator, I will not travel unnecessarily to deliberate with my co-arbitrators, and will use screen sharing/video technology instead;

  • As counsel, I will not travel unnecessarily to conduct fact finding or other interviews with witnesses and will use screen sharing/video technology instead where appropriate;

  • I will offset the carbon emissions of any flights I make to arbitration hearings.

To take the pledge, klick here!

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The Month in Retrospect: What Else Happend in May


Robert BoyleThe Future is Female

In 2017, for the first time, a majority (52%) of lawyers newly admitted to the German bar were women, data published at the Anwaltstag showed. One could see this coming, as female law students have outnumbered men for quite a while. Overall, 34.7% of lawyers are women, and their share has been constantly rising for years: In 1970, only 4.5% of all lawyers were women. Their share rose to 7.6% in 1980, on to 15.1% in 1990, 24.6% in 2000 and in 2010, the female part of the profession accounted for 31.6%.


Lawyers Stick to Their Robes

The rule-setting body (Satzungsversammlung) of the German Federal Bar (Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer) convened in early May. One item on the agenda was a proposal to abolish the duty of lawyers to wear a robe in court. A majority one can oly describe as overwhelming rejected the proposal: 70 members voted against, only two memers were in favour of the reform. I personally quite like the ritual of putting on the robe before a hearing, and I would like to believe that it helps see you as of their kind, in our role of officers of the court (Organ der Rechtspflege).

The illustration is taken from  the front page of Robert Boyle’s collcetion of essays (2nd Edition, London 1669).

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