Catherine A. Rogers was recently appointed by the ICC Palestine to the nine-member Court of Arbitration of the newly launched Jerusalem Arbitration Centre (JAC). The JAC is a joint initiative of the ICC Palestine and the ICC Israel to resolve commercial disputes that arise out of the more than $4 billion in trade annual between Palestinians and Israelis.
Rogers is the Paul and Marjorie Price Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law at Penn State whose scholarship focuses on issues of fairness in international arbitration. “What first intrigued me when I learned about the idea of the JAC was the rather daunting challenge of creating a fair and legitimate means of adjudicating disputes between two sets of parties who have inherently disparate resources and experience, and who are involved in such an intensely political conflict,” said Rogers. One of the most fundamental challenges is that international arbitration was new and largely unknown to the Palestinian legal and business communities when the JAC was first proposed.
To help solve that problem, Rogers helped organize a series of capacity-building initiatives in the region, kicked off by a “Teach-In” on international arbitration in Ramallah, where international and Palestinian arbitration scholars and experts conducted sessions on topics like the benefits of international arbitration and how to negotiate and draft an arbitration clause.
That first event was followed by a series of other capacity-building initiatives in the region, including skills training courses for Palestinian attorneys, a book drive for the new ICC Palestine library on international arbitration, a program to partner international pro bono co-counsel with local Palestinian attorneys in JAC cases, work toward implementation of a new Palestinian arbitration law, specialized training of Palestinian judges on issues of international arbitration, and support for the first ever Palestinian Vis Moot team. Most recently, in December 2013, Rogers helped organize together with Adam Raviv of WilmerHale and the ICC Palestine, a day-long, hands-on program involving a mock arbitration exercise and a keynote speech by the renowned international arbitrator V.V. “Johnny” Veeder QC.
Rogers and Penn State have also helped and supported public events to promote the JAC in North America and London, including presentations at the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law and a conference in London organized by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.
Rogers is a Palestinian-American who, in addition to her appointment at Penn State, also holds a professorship of Ethics, Regulation and the Rule of Law at Queen Mary, University of London. She is a Reporter for the American Law Institute’s new Restatement of the U.S. Law (Third) of International Commercial Arbitration, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Judicial Academy, and co-chair, together with William W. “Rusty” Park, of the ICCA-Queen Mary Task Force on Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration. Her forthcoming book, Ethics in International Arbitration, will be published in 2014 by Oxford University Press.