1. Only recently, Europe and the whole world have managed to emerge from the madness of Nazism and Fascism, bearers of death and destruction. From September 30 to October 1950, the scholars of the Italian Association of Civil Procedure organized in Florence the first international congress of civil procedure: as stated, with detached moderation, by Enrico Redenti, "this is how we reiterate to the world our desire to living and growing again, and our need, before anything else, to establish wider links with all scholars in our discipline. Practical application is essentially technical. But technicalism also benefits from different types of experience and far from each other, as well as from studies carried out in differently differentiated contexts. "
The study, considered as a mission, as human collaboration - in the passionate words of Piero Calamandrei in his closing speech - brings great comfort, and we have had proof of this during this congress: even when weapons lay barriers among men, this continuity, this link persists unnoticed among men. Even when war seems to divide peoples into the most inhuman manners, above the melee the books remain unnoticed in their distance communication; despite all this, this fraternity, and this solidarity, spread fast in the places of the soul.
And it was a sign of that spirit that the Italian scholars met there with other scholars of various origins, after the last of the "free" conferences (Vienna 1928), from Rene Morel to Hans Schima, from Adolf Schönke, Rudolf Pohle, Ernest Heinitz, and Thedor Süss, to Jaime Guasp, Víctor Fairén-Guillén, Niceto Alcalá-Zamora and Oscar de Cunha.
There was, however, a question that weighed on us tremendously: how could we talk about the procedure and its aims and try to build theoretical and abstract constructs, when the process had been used around the world to give an official rank of legality to murder?? Ya-t-il une justice politique? asks Meaunier.
Assassins and jackals disguised as judges sat on the benches where we were accustomed to respect judges who were serene and impartial, and they were able to give to their wrongdoings, Calamandrei continues, the rules and forms of proceedings; special courts, extraordinary courts, military courts, political party courts, where underneath the usurper's robe was visible the black suit of the assassin who does not judge but stabs; there were also persecutory laws aimed at the extermination of an entire people, and judgments that were turned into tamed instruments of these same laws of extermination; and finally, when it seemed that the hour of justice had come, there is a new and inevitable explosion of reprisals and revenge.
Then, eventually, the optimism of will managed to prevail over the pessimism of reason. To reaffirm the universal values of procedural culture, the foundations were based on what was then called the International Organization of Civil Procedural Law, formed by a Board of Directors composed of scholars such as Professor Enrico Redenti (Italy), Hans Schima (Austria), Adolf Schönke (Germany), Victor Fairén-Guillén (Spain), Robert Wyness Millar (USA and Anglo-Saxon countries in general), Niceto Alcalà-Zamora (Mexico), Oscar de Cunha (Brazil) and Eduardo Couture (Uruguay and South American Spanish-speaking countries). Professor Tito Carnacini was the secretary and Bologna was established as the official seat, in recognition of its status as the oldest University in the world.
The work of the board was, however, hampered by delays in communication and postal services: the letters of that period often contained complaints about missed messages or late responses (though this still happens today in the e-mail era!)
2. But the work went on: there was a first meeting in April 1951 during the Weinheim Tagung, then a second Congress in Vienna (5 to 8 October 1953), despite the difficulties due to the allied occupation of the Austrian capital. Topics of great interest and wide scope of application were addressed, such as Constitutional guarantees of the process, by Eduardo Couture; the enforcement of judgments in the USA, by Arthur Lenhoff; International jurisdiction, by Riccardo Monaco; and many others.
The board of directors appointed in Florence was re-confirmed and met again in Bologna on December 19, 1955, in the office of President Prof. Redenti, with Professors Schima, Pohle, Fairén-Guillén, and with the presence of the secretary Carnacini. The minutes, which I still have today, show the support of Professors Genry Solus, Niceto Alcalá-Zamora and Eduardo Couture.
The by-laws were thus defined and, among other things, it was established that the International Association of Procedural Law (note that the term 'Organization' was abandoned along with the limitation to civil procedure only) should be free of any influence, that the members would be selected by a committee among scholars of every branch of procedural law, including criminal, administrative and financial procedural law, and that the purpose of the Association would be to promote studies on procedural law through exchanges of information, publications, organizing international conferences and publishing an annual bulletin.
A maximum limit of 300 members was set, with fixed rates for each country.
The official languages chosen were Italian, French, English, German and Spanish. The next conference was to be held in Munich in April 1957, for which topics and speakers had been prepared.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, the conference could not be held, and several years had to pass before a third international congress was organized, mainly thanks to the continued pressure of the scholars of the Italian Association of Civil Procedure, from 12 to 15 April 1962. The congress was held in Venice, on the magnificent island of S. Giorgio, at the Fondazione Cini, whose president was Francesco Carnelutti.
3. The congress was widely expected and renowned scholars from all over the world contributed to the discussions with numerous essays. It is impossible to name them all. I will only mention Charles Van Reepinghen and Ernest Krings with La jurisdiction gracieuse en droit belge, the essays of Niceto Alcalà Zamora on Eficacia de las providencias de jurisdicción voluntaria, Giorgio Balladore Pallieri with L’ammissibilità dei mezzi di prova nel diritto internazionale private. For the Soviet Union Marc Gurvitch presented a report.
As for my person, it was the first meeting with the International Association. And this because I was to review the papers of the congress for publication.
The fourth congress took place in Athens in 1967, and the fifth in Mexico City (March 12-18, 1972, organized and directed by Professor Niceto Alcalá-Zamora y Castillo). On this occasion there were new appointments for the board, with Niceto Alcalá-Zamora as president and Prof. Vittorio Denti as secretary general. The official seat was still in Bologna and the by-laws were definitively approved by the first forty-five ordinary members.
Together with the aforementioned, the Board of Directors was formed by Professors Baur, Carnacini, Devis Echandia, Fairén-Guillén, Fasching, Fix-Zamudio, Jolowicz, Perrot and Stalev. The terms of Organization of Procedural Law reappeared.
The many ideas and initiatives took concrete shape when Marcel Storme organized the Ghent congress in 1977, "Towards a justice with a human face", the sixth held since 1950, but the first in terms of participation with representatives from every continent, including for the first time Asia, Australia and Africa.
The globalization of the International Association was consolidated at the Würzburg Congress in 1983 entitled "Effectiveness of Judicial Protection and Constitutional Order", exceptionally well organized by Prof. Walter Habscheid. During the meeting in Würzburg, the members decided to abandon the name "Organization" and at the same time appointed Mauro Cappelletti as president, Marcel Storme as Executive Secretary General, and Walter Habscheid and Vittorio Denti as Secretary General. There were about one hundred and twenty members at that time. The official seat was transferred to Ghent.
These members of the council, in particular Mauro Cappelletti and Marcel Storme, worked with renewed energy, and finally the "Procedural Reporter" was published, on alternate years, becoming a link and an extremely valuable resource of information.
In 1985, a new initiative was launched successfully, a series of monothematic colloquia, begun by with Ulla Jacobsson in Lund with "Trends in Execution of Non-Monetary Orders and Judgments".
In 1987 Prof. Wedekind organized the eighth Congress in Utrecht on "Justice and Efficiency". In 1988, on the occasion of the nine-hundredth anniversary of the University of Bologna, there was an extraordinary congress on "The Judicial Protection of Human Rights at the National and International Level" organized by the undersigned. In 1991 the ninth World Congress was held in Coimbra - Lisbon, organized by Prof. Pessoa Vaz on "Role and Organization of Judges and Lawyers in Contemporary Societies". In 1992 the Japanese Association, with our contribution, organized the great Tokyo Conference. In 1993, Mieczyslaw Sawczuk organized a colloquium in Lublin on "Unity of Civil Procedural Law Unit and National Divergence". The tenth World Congress, on "Transnational Aspects of Procedural Law", was held in Taormina in 1995, prepared with great enthusiasm by Italo Andolina; Then there was the most pleasing colloquium in Thessaloniki in 1997 on "The Role of Supreme Courts at National and International Level", prepared by Professor Pelayia Yessiou-Faltsi. In 1998, thanks to Dean Sherman and Prof. Yannopoulos, the Association held its first meeting in the United States in New Orleans, with a colloquium on "Abuse of procedural rights". The eleventh congress held in Vienna in 1999 on "Procedural Law at the Threshold of the New Millennium" was impeccably organized by Walter Rechberger. Then there was Ghent in 2000, Brussels in 2001, and in September 2003 in Mexico City the twelfth world congress, brilliantly organized by Prof. Cipriano Gómez Lara on "Civil Procedure and Legal Culture."
In Taormina, the members appointed Marcel Storme as President, three vice-presidents to cover several geographic areas - José Carlos Barbosa Moreira, Yasuhei Taniguchi, Bryant Garth - and three secretaries-general -Keith Uff, Peter Gottwald and the undersigned.
The number of members was reached by then 310 ordinary and 9 extraordinary, with a significant increase in North America, South America, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand and Africa. The official seat was retransferred to Bologna.
In September 2003, during the twelfth World Congress in Mexico City, the members appointed for the Council Professor Italo Andolina (Italy); Elio Fazzalari (Italy); Héctor Fix Zamudio (Mexico); Peter Gilles (Germany); Stephen Goldstein (Israel); Wouter De Vos (South Africa); Cipriano Gómez Lata (Mexico); Loïc Cadiet (France); Konstantinos Kerameus (Greece); Per Henrick Lindblom (Sweden); Augusto Mario Morello (Argentina); Ada Pellegrini Grinover (Brazil); Francisco Ramos Méndez (Spain); Walter Rechberger (Austria); Gerhard Walter (Switzerland); Garry Watson (Canada); Pelaya Yessiou-Faltsi (Greece); Neil Andrews (England); Giuseppe Tarzia (Italy).
Professor Marcel Storme was re-elected as President, professors Federico Carpi, Peter Gottwald and Keith Uff as secretaries-general, and professors José Carlos Barbosa Moreira, Yasuhei Taniguchi and Oscar Chase as vice-presidents.
Members were then raised up to 350 scholars from around the world.
There continued to be a wide variety of interesting events, including a number of colloquia: in 2004, Paris-Dijon on "Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods" organized by Prof Loïc Cadiet; in 2005, Vienna-Budapest, on "European Civil Procedural Law. Critics and Future Prospects with the EU Enlargement", organized by Professors Walter Rechberger and Miklós Kengyel; in September 2006 in Kyoto, on "The Reception and Transmission of Civil Procedural Law in the Global Society", organized by Professor Masahisa Deguchi; April 2007, Vilnius, on "Recent Trends in the Development of Civil Procedural Law between East and West", organized by Prof. Vytautas Nekrosius.
Most of the essays were published.
In September 2007, the magnificent XIII International Congress in Salvador de Bahia was held on "New Trends in Procedural Law", admirably organized by Professors Ada Pellegrini Grinover and Petronio Calmon. Scientific discussions on the various topics were of great interest, also thanks to the publication and distribution of an impressive volume containing all the essays.
At the opening of the congress there was a special mention for Prof. Mauro Cappelletti. He had been President of the Association for many years, and in the person of Prof. Marcel Storme and Federico Carpi, the Association had published a book in his memory, presented at the colloquium in Vienna in 2005.
The members, meeting at the congress in Salvador de Bahia, paid tribute to Professor Marcel Storme and appointed him Honorary President when he announced that he wanted to withdraw from office as president.
The members of the other governing bodies of the Association were also appointed: in the Presidium Federico Carpi (President); Ada Pellegrini Grinover (Vice-President); Oscar Chase (Vice-President); Masahisa Deguchi (Vice-President); Peter Gottwald (Secretary General); Michele Taruffo (Secretary-General); Loïc Cadiet (Executive Secretary General). To the Council Neil Andrews (United Kingdom); Stephen Goldstein (Israel); Walter Rechberger (Austria); Miklós Kengyel (Hungary); Garry Watson (Canada); Manuel Ortells Ramos (Spain); Sakari Laukkanen (Finland); Dimitri Maleshin (Russia); Eduardo Oteiza (Argentina); Piet Taelman (Belgium); Janet Walker (Canada); José Roberto Dos Santos Bedaque (Brazil); Rolf Stürner (Germany); Burkhard Hess (Germany); Edoardo Ricci (Italy); Frédérique Ferrand (France); Vytautas Nekrošius (Lithuania); Moon-hyuck Ho (Korea); Alan Uzelac (Croatia).
The program of subsequent events included the following: 6-8 November 2008, Valencia (Spain), colloquium on "Oral and Written Proceedings: Effectiveness in Procedure", organized by Prof. Manuel Ortells Ramos; 3-5 June 2009, Toronto (Canada), a colloquium on "Civil Law – Common Law. The Future of Categories”, organized by Prof. Janet Walker together with Vice President Oscar Chase; then a colloquium in September 2010 in Pecs (Hungary), on “Electronic Justice”, organized by Prof. Miklós Kengyel, where Peter Gottwald became president of the Association.
Several essays were presented during the XIV International Congress on "Procedural Justice in a Globalized World" held in Heidelberg between 25 and 30 July. Professor Burkhard Hess was in charge of the organization.
During the aforementioned Congress, there a General Assembly of Members was held in the course of which a large number of amendments to the by-laws were approved. The assembly also renewed the governing bodies. The Presidium was formed as follows: Loïc Cadiet (President), Oscar Chase (Vice President for North America), Masahisa Deguchi (Vice President for East Asia), Eduardo Oteiza (Vice President for South America), Michele Taruffo (Vice President for Europe), Manuel Ortells Ramos (Executive Secretary General), Neil Andrews (Secretary General), Burkhard Hess (Secretary General).
The appointed members of the Council were: Teresa Armenta Deu (Spain); Teresa Arruda Alvim Wambier (Brazil): Paolo Biavati (Italy); Remo Caponi (Italy); José Roberto Dos Santos Bedaque (Brazil); Laura Ervo (Sweden); Frédérique Ferrand (France); Fernando Gascon Inchausti (Spain); Moon-hyuck Ho (Korea); Miklós Kengyel (Hungary); Angela Ester Ledesma (Argentina); Dmitry Maleshin (Russia); Richard L. Marcus (U.S.A.); Vytautas Nekrošius (Lithuania); Walter H. Rechberger (Austria); C.H. (Remco) Van Rhee (Netherlands); Michael Stürner (Germany); Rolf Stürner (Germany); Piet Taelman (Belgium); Alan Uzelac (Croatia); Garry D. Watson (Canada).
At last, two Honorary Presidents were appointed, Peter Gottwald and myself.
There was a very important event during the Congress: the presentation of the first issue of the International Journal of Procedural Law, sponsored by the Association.
The magazine was published in the five official languages of the Association: English, Italian, German, Spanish and French. The second number is now available. It is a very significant initiative for the scientific development of procedural law, made possible by the impetus of Loïc Cadiet and the Journal Board. This initiative requires the help and support of all members and scholars through the annual subscription (for more information visit www.intersentia.com).
Two important events have been organized just as I am updating these few pages (March 2012): a Colloquium in Buenos Aires from 6 to 9 June 2012, in partnership with the Iberoamerican Institute for Procedural Law under the direction of Eduardo Oteiza, on "Collective Proceedings / Class Actions", and between 18 and 21 September 2012 a Colloquium in Moscow on "Civil Procedure in a Trans-Cultural Dialogue: Eurasian Context" under the direction of Dmitry Maleshin.
There are other ongoing initiatives, although the details have not yet been defined: Seoul (Korea) in 2014 and the XV International Congress in Istanbul seem to be a concrete option today.
A new site, www.iaplaw.org, was set up to keep up-to-date on all the news and dates of future events and to promote closer relations between members and Friends.
It is with great satisfaction that we look to a future of commitment to an ever-greater exchange of knowledge, in the interest of fruitful scientific and human debate.
Honorary President of the International Association of Procedural Law