On the 7th and 8th September 2023, in Gdynia, the Jubilee of the 85th Anniversary of the Court of Arbitration at the Gdynia Cotton Association was solemnly celebrated. This oldest Polish Arbitration Court, established in 1983, is competent in the field of quality and technical (commercial) arbitration (in the scope of contractual clauses) of cotton fibre, yarn, and fabrics.
Opening the Jubilee Session on the 7th September, held in the Gdynia Cotton House, the President of the Gdynia Cotton Association – Mr Ignacy Józkowicz, Ph.D. – said:
The Gdynia Cotton Association is one of the oldest professional self-government institutions in Poland. Its history is strictly connected to the development of the Polish textile industry between the WW I and WW II, but also with the flourishing operations of the commercial port of Gdynia which was built to meet the needs of the reviving economy of the Second Republic of Poland. During almost 90 years of operation, the Gdynia Cotton Association won a high position in the global system of cotton trade, serving well the interests of Polish and international textile industry. Strengthening of this position was strongly aided when on the 26th September 1938 the first Polish Court of Arbitration was established – as soon as only three years after the Association had been established. The Court was to protect interests of the members of national and international cotton turnover.
Within 85 years of operation, the Court of Arbitration at the Gdynia Cotton Association became widely recognised and appreciated institution which strengthened the role of our Association:
– as one of the best cotton classification schools in the world,
– the institution promoting strict principles of commercial honesty and sanctity of contractual clauses in cotton fibre, yarn, and fabrics turnover,
– and an organisation striving for as broad as possible propagation of benefits from cotton as a human- and environment friendly and safe, renewable and bio-degradable natural raw material.
The event was attended by representatives of international and Polish industrial and arbitration organisations as well as arbitrators of the Court of Arbitration at the Gdynia Cotton Association, Honorary Members, ordinary members, and friends and supporters of the Association. The Gdynia Local Government was represented by Mr Bartosz Bartoszewicz, Ph.D. – The Deputy Mayor for life Quality.
Guests and GCA members came for the Jubilee and the accompanying Conference from all over Poland, whereas the foreign guests – mainly representing cotton and arbitration organisations – came from Bremen – Germany, Paris – France, Liverpool – UK, and Houston, TX, USA. They were:
– Mr Robert Jiang, Ph.D. – Secretary of the CICCA – Committee for International Cooperation between Cotton Associations, and also the representative of the International Cotton Association from Liverpool, UK – where the world oldest Court of Arbitration is functioning,
– Ms Stephanie Silber – Vice President of the Bremen Cotton Exchange, Germany,
– Ms Agnieszka Durlik – Director General of the Court of Arbitration at the Polish Chamber of Commerce – the biggest court of arbitration in Poland,
– Terry Townsend, Ph.D. – world expert on cotton, former Executive Director of the International Cotton Advisory Committee – ICAC in Washington, D.C., USA, at present consultant of the Discover Natural Fibres Initiative – DNFI – www.dnfi.org );
– Professor Peter Iglikowski – an outstanding expert in English and French law and lecturer, advocate, specialist in international arbitration law from Barreau de Paris LEWIS & CO from Paris, France.
The Jubilee celebration was also attended by representatives of other professional chambers and associations:
– Mr Ireneusz Chabrowski – President of the Polish Textile Engineers’ Federation,
– Mr Rafał Machowiak – Secretary General of the Polish Chamber of Maritime Commerce – where the court of arbitration is also operating,
– Mr Wojciech Kodłubański – President of the Gdynia City Enthusiasts’ Society.
Among the participants of the celebration, there were also GCA Honorary Members, arbitrators, and experts in textiles:
– Professor Iwona Frydrych – Technical University of Łódź,
– Professor Małgorzata Matusiak – Technical University of Łódź,
– Professor Ryszard Kozłowski – former, long-standing Director of the Institute of Natural Fibres (now: Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants) in Poznań, The Editor-in-Chief of the “Journal of Natural Fibers”,
– Mrs Wiesława Trywiańska-Furman – GCA arbitrator for yarn, Honorary Member,
– Mr Zbigniew Cekus – arbitrator for cotton fibre,
– Mr Paweł Sala – arbitrator for cotton fibre,
– Mr Andrzej Drożdż – the GCA Chief Cotton Expert, an outstanding expert on cotton fibre, teacher of a great number of cotton classers who attended the GCA cotton classification courses.
It is worth noting that the present GCA Director – Executive Vice President Mr Jerzy Kotwas is also an arbitrator in cotton fibre.
Arbitrators for technical disputes were represented by Mr Roman Olszewski, advocate – Chairman of the Presidium of Arbitrators of the Court of Arbitration at the Gdynia Cotton Association and Mr Jarosław Bokina – former President of C. Hartwig Gdańsk.
According to the programme of the event which encompassed:
7 September 2023 – Thursday:
– a special session of the GCA Board of Directors,
– the official Jubilee Session, the following addresses were presented:
- the President of the Gdynia Cotton Association – Mr Ignacy Józkowicz, Ph.D welcomed and introduced the Guests,
- the Gdynia Deputy Mayor – Mr Bartosz Bartoszewicz presented a concise history and present growth of the City of Gdynia and the Port of Gdynia,
- the GCA Executive Vice President – Director Jerzy Kotwas presented the history of the Court of Arbitration at the Gdynia Cotton Association on the background of the history of Gdynia,
- the Special Guest – Mr Terry Townsend, Ph.D. – the DNFI representative delivered the lecture on The Role of Cotton and Natural Fibres in a Sustainable World Economy.
After the addresses of the invited Guests who congratulated the GCA member on the occasion of this excellent Jubilee, all participants met in the evening at Gala Dinner in a restaurant with a marvellous view of the port, the Bay, and Gdynia Boulevards.
8 September 2023 – Friday
The Jubilee Conference was held in the Mercure Hotel Gdynia. The lectures were presented by:
- the President of the Presidium of Arbitrators – Mr Roman Olszewski, Ph.D, attorney at law, “Objectives and Activities of the Court of Arbitration at the Gdynia Cotton Association”;
- the General Secretary of the CICCA and representative of the International Cotton Association Mr Robert Jiang, Ph.D. – ” The Cotton Trade Merchant Reliability and Sanctity of Contracts as Basic Conditions of Contemporary Cotton Trade
- Representative of the Barreau de Paris LEWIS & CO – Prof. Peter Iglikowski – “Commercial Arbitration in the Contemporary World”;
- Ms Agnieszka Durlik – Director General of the Court of Arbitration at the Polish Chamber of Commerce “Arbitration – Facts and Myths”.
The celebration of the 85th Anniversary of establishing the Court of Arbitration at the Gdynia Cotton Association was closed with lunch and a short cruise on the Gdańsk Bay – with a splendid summer weather which accompanied that two-day holiday of the Gdynia Cotton Association.