Arbitration - Money Laundering, Corruption and Fraud, the publication of our 2002 General Annual Meeting, has been a success and the Institute owes its gratitude to its contributors and to ICC Publishing.

The present publication - our General Annual Meeting of 2003 - includes contributions by well-known and respected practitioners on the key issue of "Arbitration and Oral Evidence".

All practitioners of international commercial arbitration have witnessed the considerable progress made over the past years to bring in line different traditions. Roughly speaking, there are no longer major differences between substantive laws or rules of law in the field of international commercial arbitration. Evidence is the only area where there are still different approaches because of legal tradition. The aim of this publication is to give the reader a thorough picture of the practical issues raised by the oral presentation of evidence. Where is the solution? The reader will find in this book the best possible approaches to this key question.

The Institute is endeavouring to discuss at its yearly General Meeting matters of current interest to the arbitration world.

The topic for our AGM 2004 to be held in Paris on 16 November 2004 is "Parallel State and Arbitral Procedures in International Arbitration". We have chosen this topic because, as you know, arbitration is suffering today from an excess of procedural questions being raised as preliminary issues. The multiplication of recourses to courts, even when there is a valid arbitration provision, has increased problems raised by parallel proceedings before State and arbitral tribunals. Similarly, Counsel do not hesitate to initiate multiple procedures for the same dispute, even in different countries. Hence, the importance of this topic. Of course, the proceedings of the 2004 AGM will be published.

I thank the reader for his renewed attention to our publications. The Institute hopes to welcome each of you to one of its next events.

With my best regards,

Serge Lazareff Chairman