ICC International Court of Arbitration®

Centenary of the ICC Court

In 2023, we have celebrated 100 years of the ICC International Court of Arbitration®, the world’s leading arbitral institution. Since the inception of the ICC Court in 1923, we have remained at the forefront of supporting global trade and investment through dispute prevention and resolution.

As we celebrate a century of service, we are taking this opportune time in our history to reflect on our pioneering dispute resolution journey, through challenges and milestone achievements. Most importantly we are recommitting to the purpose of the ICC Court to promote access to justice and the rule of law, and to shaping the future of dispute resolution for generations to come.

Origins and history

ICC was created in 1919 by the French Minister of Commerce, Etienne Clementel along with a handful of entrepreneurs who called themselves the “Merchants of Peace”. They fervently believed that strong and mutually beneficial ties among nations through trade, industry and commerce would not only make nations prosperous but also make them less likely to go to war.

The need for an international dispute resolving mechanism became apparent to meet the rise in international trade and investment.

In May 1922, the ICC Executive Committee approved the creation of an international court for commercial disputes and the ICC Court of Commercial Arbitration was inaugurated on 19 January 1923.

From our post-war beginnings, the central tenet of the ICC Court has been the belief that trust in an independent, neutral and robust dispute resolution process, free from political dynamics, is key to encouraging trade and investment across borders.

ICC Court milestones

1920 ICC Constitution and Commission on Arbitration created (later renamed Commission of Arbitration and ADR)

1922 The first ICC Rules of Arbitration promulgated (subsequent versions published in 1927195519751988199820122017 and 2021)

1923 ICC Court inauguration meeting and first case submitted

1927 ICC helps broker The Geneva Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards

1953 ICC submits the Preliminary Draft Convention of The New York Arbitration Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards

1976 ICC International Centre for ADR established

1979 ICC Institute of World Business Law established

1980’s Introduction of more advanced arbitration clauses

1995 Party representation from South and Far East Asia exceeds North America for the first time

1996 The number of parties from Western Europe represents less than 50% of all parties

2008 The opening of the case management office in Hong Kong

2014 The ICC Court opens new case management office in North America in New York

2018 The opening of the case management office in Sao Paulo, Brazil and in Singapore

2018 ICC Court achieves full gender parity

2021 The opening of the case management office in Abu Dhabi, UAE

2021 The election of the first woman as President of ICC Court

2021 ICC arbitral awards made available, free of charge, to the global legal community via Jus Mundi

2022 ICC reaches major arbitration milestone with 27,000th case

2023 Centenary of the ICC Court, ICC Declaration on Dispute Prevention and Resolution issued

The ICC Centenary Declaration on Dispute Prevention and Resolution

On 19 January 2023, the ICC Court issued the ICC Centenary Declaration on Dispute Prevention and Resolution, setting out a vision to shape the future of dispute resolution and prevention for the next century.

Setting out guiding principles for a forward looking framework to drive dispute resolution and prevention of the future, the Centenary Declaration mirrors the pioneering vision of our ICC founders.

The Declaration is issued on behalf of ICC and our network communities worldwide, following rich and inclusive discussions of our strategic priorities, challenges and opportunities. It states:

‘’As the nature and character of business relationships and disputes evolve in an ever-changing world, ICC’s track record of continual innovation places it in the perfect position to lead dispute prevention and resolution into the future.”

The ICC International Court of Arbitration will shape the future of dispute prevention and resolution by:

Who are the ICC Court Members?

Members of the ICC Court are appointed for three-year terms by the World Council. This is done on the proposal of one member from ICC national committees and other ICC groups, or upon proposal by the President of the Court.

Once appointed, ICC Court members must remain independent from national committees in the performance of their functions. Alternate members are appointed by the World Council on the proposal of the ICC Court’s President.

All Court Members, including President and Vice-PresidentsMembers and alternate Members, effective as of 1 July 2021, can be viewed here. (*Alternate Members are those with an asterisk next to their name)

ICC Court Alumni

All former members of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, are able to remain engaged in our work as a member of the ICC Court Alumni Group. Alumni members support ICC’s commitment to investing in and innovating ICC’s world-leading arbitral process.

ICC Court President and Past Presidents

Claudia Salomon

2021 – present

Claudia Salomon made history when she became the first woman President of the ICC Court. Since taking on the role Ms Salomon has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring a client-focused mindset as well as greater inclusivity and diversity in arbitration globally.

Alexis Mourre

2015 – 2021

Alexis Mourre’s approach to reforming the ICC Court was based on five pillars: efficiency, transparency, ethics, diversity, and “glocalism” – to safeguard the legitimacy of international arbitration. Mr Mourre not only paved the way for ICC to tackle the challenges of legitimacy in arbitration, but also pioneered a vision and foundation for the ICC Court to be the bedrock of a modern and diverse approach to arbitration.

John Beechey

2009 – 2015

John Beechey spearheaded reforms aimed at enhancing the efficiency, integrity and effectiveness of the arbitration process. Under his leadership, ICC published new Rules of Arbitration.

Carl Salans


Carl Salans stepped in as interim chair at a time when ICC was undergoing a sudden change in leadership, leading the organisation towards stability and growth.

Pierre Tercier

2006 – 2008

Pierre Tercier was a visionary who wanted to bolster the role of the ICC Court within the structure of ICC. He promoted a more widespread and international approach to the role of ICC and under his guidance the presence of the ICC in Asia grew considerably.

Robert Briner

1997 – 2006

Under Robert Briner’s presidency, the ICC Court saw an exceptional expansion worldwide. The creation of almost 30 national committees including a regional office in Asia, together with a more global and heterogeneous ICC Court caseload were boosted by Mr Briner’s enthusiasm and professionalism. His commitment and authority were exemplified during the implementation of new ICC Rules of Arbitration and the daily practices of the ICC Court.

Alain Plantey

1988 – 1996

Alain Plantey established and expanded regional consultative groups on arbitration in Arab countries, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and Europe. He was the creator of the ICC documentation centre, which includes publications such as the ICC Arbitration Court Bulletin. As a forward-thinking president, he was the pioneer of a computerised management system of the ICC Court’s caseload. He laid the foundations for the future of the ICC Court of Arbitration, which became International, including by name, at his behest.

Michel Gaudet

1977 – 1988

Michel Gaudet provided the ICC Court with new bodies and powers suitable for the increasingly important role the ICC Court was gaining worldwide: the introduction of a Committee of the Court, with decisive powers on behalf of the ICC Court between Plenary Sessions, and the introduction of the ICC Court Deputy Secretary General.

Picture : Marcelle Jamar, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons

Jean Rey

1975 – 1977

Jean Rey was a lawyer and Belgian politician. He served as the President of the European Commission from 1967 to 1970, before his tenure as President of the ICC Court. Picture : Marcelle Jamar, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons

Edwin Herbert

1970 – 1975

Sir Edwin Herbert completely altered the arbitration landscape, highlighting how the system – established under the 1927 Geneva Convention – no longer corresponded to the requirements of international trade. As such, he spearheaded the effort to develop a new mechanism for the enforcement of arbitral awards.

Picture : Pot, Harry / Nationaal Archief – AnefoCrop: Groupsixty, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Albot Bagge

1939 – 1945

Against the background of the upheaval of the world order, during World War II, Albot Bagge had one of the most challenging tenures to keep the flame of arbitration alive. Temporarily homed in Stockholm under the leadership of Albot Bagge, the ICC Court had a unique role to play. Under the leadership of Bagge, ICC cemented its approach on neutrality, despite the hostile atmosphere surrounding it. Picture : Pot, Harry / Nationaal Archief – AnefoCrop: Groupsixty, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nicolas Politis

1935 – 1938

Nicolas Politis was a prominent Greek international lawyer and diplomat. He was one of the first scholars to contribute to the literature on arbitration. His seminal works include the Receuil des arbitrages internationaux (Reports of International Arbitral Awards), published together with professor A. De Lapradelle, and La justice international (International justice).

Etienne Clementel

1923 – 1935

The French politician Etienne Clementel was the first President of the ICC Court. He served as Minister several times in a range of offices but it was in 1915 that he became Minister of Commerce. Mr Clementel’s work was a founding and significant milestone in ICC’s history and in particular of the ICC Court.

ICC Court Centenary sponsorship and partnership opportunities

Want to be part of the ICC Court Centenary celebration? If you are interested in supporting us, learn more about the available opportunities in our sponsorship presentation here.

This is your exclusive invitation to bolster your organisation’s profile, in partnership with ICC Dispute Resolution Services, during our ICC Court Centenary programme of events and activities throughout 2023.