Marcin Czepelak, the current ambassador of Poland to the Netherlands, has been chosen in the first round the new Secretary General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague. He is the first non-Dutch person to hold this position since the establishment of the organization 123 years ago.
Czepelak was elected in a secret ballot by diplomatic representatives of the 122 states that have signed the Hague Conventions. Ambassador Marcin Czepelak obtained 57 votes out of 111 possible. The counter-candidates from Mauritius and the Netherlands obtained 33 and 21 votes respectively.Czepelak follows Hugo Siblesz who was chosen for a five-year term of office in 2012. In December 2016, the Administrative Council elected him for a second term of office for the period 2017-2022.
The PCA acts as an arbitration court for settling disputes between member states, international organizations and individuals. The PCA’s headquarters are located in the Peace Palace in The Hague, which also houses the International Court of Justice.
The PCA was founded at the first Hague Peace Conference in 1899 and is the world’s oldest international tribunal.
As Secretary-General, Czepelak will be responsible for the overall functioning of the International Bureau of the PCA, which provides registry services and administrative support for arbitration, conciliation, mediation, fact-finding, expert determination and other dispute resolution proceedings. The Secretary-General of the PCA may, upon agreement of the parties, act as Appointing Authority for purposes of appointing one or more members of an arbitral tribunal, ruling on challenges to arbitrators, or deciding on fee arrangements. This role is foreseen in a number of procedural regimes (primarily the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules), national laws and treaties.
Marcin Czepelak graduated from the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Jagiellonian University. His doctoral dissertation on international agreements won the 2006 Prime Minister’s award for the best PhD thesis. In 2016, he was awarded habilitation on the basis of his monograph Party autonomy in the EU Private International Law published year before. He has authored a number of monographs and scholarly articles about international civil procedure, the protection of foreign investments and the law of treaties, which appeared in Polish, English and Italian. In 2012 he published International Law of Obligations of the European Union. Commentary on the Rome Regulations, which won a prize for the most useful book for the practice of court proceedings.
Marcin Czepelak gained experience in public administration in the Kraków Town Hall. Since 2006, he has been giving lectures on the law of international agreements, private international law and the international law of succession at the Department of Private International Law of the Jagiellonian University. He has also been associated with several international research centers, including the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg and the University of Cambridge, where he participated in several research projects. He completed numerous academic internships and postings, including at The Hague Academy of International Law.
Ambassador Marcin Czepelak has extensive legislative expertise, gained both in Poland and abroad (European Commission and the European Parliament).
He speaks fluent English, French and German and has a good command of Spanish and Dutch.
Sources: Permanent Court of Arbitration, Embassy of the Republic of Poland in the Netherlands
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