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Launched by Claudia Salomon in her first month as President of the ICC Court, the LGBTQIA network aims to build on a range of ICC efforts to champion the benefits of diversity and inclusivity, including the launch earlier this year of ICC World Business Pride, an ICC staff-led initiative to foster an inclusive environment for those in the LGBTQIA community.
Ms Salomon said: “Diversity is a key strength of the ICC Court and essential to the legitimacy of international arbitration. I am keen for the Court to play its part in upholding ICC values and benefitting from the full range of experiences and perspectives we all bring to the Court. This requires doing everything possible to create a safe and inclusive space that enables everyone to be their authentic self at the Court.”
The creation of an LGBTQIA+ network signals ICC’s continued commitment to diversity efforts building on progress made to improve gender balance of arbitral tribunals and the Court Bureau under former ICC Court President Alexis Mourre. Earlier this month Ms Salomon launched a global call for interested candidates to participate in a newly created Task Force on Disability Inclusion and International Arbitration, formed under the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR.
Alexander G. Fessas, Secretary General of the ICC International Court of Arbitration and Director of the ICC Dispute Resolution Services said: “I am proud to be part of an organisation committed to bringing inclusion and diversity to every aspect of its activities. The creation of an LGBTQIA network within the Court builds on that commitment, in line with ICC’s World Business Pride pledge. We at the Secretariat stand ready to assist the Court in delivering on this important initiative.”
With a view to expanding the network through connections to young arbitrators and other ICC networks, the ICC Court LGBTQIA network is currently open to all members of the ICC Court. Objectives include supporting personal development, enabling best practice sharing, building understanding, and ensuring accountability.
Chief Executive Officer of Herbert Smith Freehills Justin D’Agostino MH, a member of the ICC Dispute Resolution Governing Body, said: “Our aim is to ensure that our arbitration community accurately reflects the global business community and society. As a truly global arbitral institution, ICC operates in jurisdictions where the legal, social or cultural context can be hostile towards LGBTQIA people. Our aim is to create a safe space that promotes engagement and ensures that the unique perspectives and skills of every Court member are a driving force for the work we undertake.”