On 27 September 2012 Professor Pieter Sanders passed away, one week after his 100th birthday, leaving a unique legacy in both international and Dutch arbitration law.
Professor Sanders was perhaps best known to dispute resolution lawyers as one of the principal drafters of the 1958 New York Convention (on the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and arbitration agreements) and for his contributions to the drafting of the 1976 UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules and the 1986 Dutch arbitration legislation. He was a co-founder of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration in 1961, serving two terms as President and as general editor of ICCA's prestigious publications, the Handbook on Commercial Arbitration and the Yearbook Commercial Arbitration in the 1970s and 1980s. Through his 100th year, he was active in advising ICCA on publications, policy and extension of membership. On the home front, he was founder of the Netherlands Arbitration Institute and the Tijdschrift voor Arbitrage, while maintaining a law practice in Rotterdam and founding the School of Law at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
Professor Sander's contributions outside the field of arbitration were also remarkable. He was involved in the reconstruction of The Netherlands after WWII, serving as secretary-general of the general war ministry (Algemene Oorlogvoering van het Koninkrijk) and as Secretary-General of the General Commission for Indonesia (Commissie-Generaal Indonesië). He served as founding Dean of the Erasmus Law Faculty in Rotterdam from 1959, represented the Netherlands at the United Nations Commission on Transnational Corporations from 1972-1982, and is credited with developing the supranational legal entity of the European company (SE). He was also a renowned art collector, both for his private art collection and as a contributor and donor to art museums throughout the Netherlands.
Professor Sanders received multiple Liber Amicora and honours during his lifetime, including Ridder in de Order van de Nederlandse Leeuw, Grote Kruis van Verdienste Bondsrepubliek Duitsland, Zilveren Anjer Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds, Van Oldenbarnevelt Penning Gemeente Rotterdam and Aleida Penning Gemeente Schiedam.
His youthful approach, his creativity and his enthusiasm inspired many in a remarkable life and a career spanning nearly seven decades.
By L. Bosman