Arbitration in Italy’s 2020

Roberto Oliva

Mountains of papers have been written, countless rhetorical statements and a handful of enlightening and careful considerations were spent to describe 2020 and how tragic and particular that year was.

I don’t intend to add my voice to that chorus. However, I would like to focus on two aspects, which in my opinion deserve the attention of the readers of this law journal.

First of all, in the course of 2020 Arbitration in Italy, established in 2015 as a blog, has been transformed into law journal. This transformation, which implies participatory management and editing of editorial content, is the arrival point of the previous path, and the starting point of a new path.

In the five years since it was founded, Arbitration in Italy has been noticed by several niche practitioners. Its visitors were among the hundreds in 2015; among the tens of thousands in 2019 and 2020. The readers of Arbitration in Italy were able to be informed about the most recent doctrines on arbitration, as well as upheld well-established doctrines, on a range of topics including, for instance, relationship between arbitration and order for payment or abroad-seated corporate arbitration proceedings.

The path ahead of us is that leading to the ambitious goal of turning Arbitration in Italy into the point of reference for domestic and international arbitration in Italy.

This is the reason why the transformation into a law journal did not have an impact on a point of crucial relevance: Arbitration in Italy is an open-access law journal.

This said concerning the journal, during this tragic year we have witnessed in several jurisdictions – and among these in Italy – a slowdown, if not an almost complete lockdown of judicial systems. In the face of the pandemic, and in consideration of the social distancing measures adopted to contain it, States have no longer been able to guarantee the regular functioning of judicial systems.

Arbitration, on the other hand, has not stopped, arbitration proceedings are continuing, the arbitration community, in Italy and abroad, has been able to identify procedural mechanisms to guarantee both due process and procedural efficiency.

On the subject, I recommend reading the beautiful volume edited by Maxi Scherer, Niuscha Bassiri and Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab: International Arbitration and the COVID-19 Revolution, published by Wolters Kluwer.

Even in these difficult times, arbitration has proven its ability to suit the parties’ interests and to do so even better than State Courts can.

This is a perhaps bold statement that we have been making since 2015. And we will continue to repeat it.

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