CEPANI is the first continental European arbitration institution that has formalized considerations of diversity and inclusion in the context of arbitrator appointments. It has codified what has been its practice to ensure the users and the international arbitration community of its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

In its amended new Arbitration Rules, in force as of 1 January 2023, its Article 15.1 includes now a consideration for diversity and inclusion, which is on equal footing with other considerations such as availability, qualification and ability to act as arbitrator in a given case: “The Appointments Committee or the President shall appoint or confirm the Arbitral Tribunal in accordance with the following rules. It shall take into account, inter alia, the availability, the qualifications and the ability of the arbitrator(s) to conduct the arbitration in accordance with the Rules, and considerations of diversity and inclusion.”

This amendment was decided by the CEPANI Board in 2022 and follows the preparatory work that was done by the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group established in 2021, which reported to the Board on its findings, research, analysis and initiatives. The CEPANI’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group met during regular intervals and provided the CEPANI Board with an array of initiatives and recommendations.

The Diversity and Inclusion Working Group was chaired by Sophie Goldman of Tossens Goldman Gonne and Werner Eyskens of Crowell & Moring. Its members were Niuscha Bassiri of Hanotiau & van den Berg, Hakim Boularbah of Loyens & Loeff, Marie Canivet of Osborne Clarke, Nathalie Colin of Freshfields, Vanessa Foncke of Jones Day, Françoise Lefèvre of Lefèvre – Arbitration & ADR, Prof. Maud Piers of the University of Ghent, Emma Van Campenhoudt, Secretary General of CEPANI, Dirk Van Gerven of NautaDutilh, Sigrid Van Rompaey of Matray, Matray & Hallet.

Also on recommendation of the Working Group, the CEPANI Board created a standing Diversity & Inclusion Committee, chaired by Sophie Goldman and Werner Eyskens, with its members Niuscha Bassiri and Guillaume Croisant of Linklaters, which is tasked with continuing to develop initiatives to further improve the diversity and inclusion role that CEPANI seeks to play.


Dear colleagues,

We  favor  electronic and phone communication. If necessary, paper copies can always be deposited at the reception desk of the VBO/FEB, rue Ravenstein 4, 1000 Brussels.

CEPANI stands ready to assist to the best of our ability, and welcome parties and tribunals to reach out and contact us if an issue or question arises.

Secretary General |Secretaris-generaal| Secretary General


The Covid-19 pandemic has imposed new habits on arbitration practitioners, including holding hearings remotely.

Like several arbitration institutions and centres, CEPANI has also developed a checklist for remote arbitration hearings. This checklist is a practical tool to ensure that the hearings run smoothly. Arbitrators and parties can use it as a guide.

You can consult the checklist here!


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