Istanbul International Construction Law Conferences is a project created by the Faculty of Law of Istanbul Bilgi University and the Swiss law firm Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd. to bring together professionals of the construction industry, legal practitioners specialising in international construction projects and academia for practice-oriented and critical discussions on selected issues faced by the construction industry. The project's philosophy is both simple and ambitious: to foster exchanges of ideas and experiences on topics of immense practical and legal relevance, and to provide insights on cutting-edge industry practices, all presented by construction practitioners for construction practitioners, with valuable guidance from academia. The idea originated from an actual arbitration, which led to the first conference of 21 February 2015. This conference was a huge success, and many participants urged the organisers to create an "institutional" yearly event. Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Law and Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd. have decided to take up that challenge.
The project's activities are threefold: conferences, publications and legal training.
Conferences: Each year, the Istanbul International Construction Law Conference will focus on selected construction-related topics, including efficient dispute prevention and resolution methods. In accordance with the project philosophy, the conference faculty includes professionals from the construction industry – including executives and engineers, in-house-legal teams, project programmers, quantity surveyors and industry experts –, legal practitioners and eminent members of the academic world. The outlook is resolutely international, with panellists coming literally from all over the globe. Generous time is reserved for enriching floor discussions.
Publications: The conference papers are published in the Istanbul International Construction Law Conferences series. The articles expand on the presentations given at the conference, with references to further authorities and materials that will interest not only legal academics and practitioners, but also industry professionals.
Legal training: The Faculty of Law of Istanbul Bilgi University and Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd. are organising a yearly Certificate Course for construction professionals, legal practitioners and of course students. The course is generally an intensive six-day, 24-hour immersion in practical and legal issues relating to international construction projects, including dispute resolution. The key ingredients to the success of the course are the resolutely practice-oriented approach and the interactive teaching style.
Our vision for Istanbul International Construction Law Conferences is that the yearly events become a "must" for construction professionals, not only in Turkey, but more generally in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the Middle East and Europe. The publications shall become a recognised reference in construction and dispute resolution matters. The legal training shall ensure that future generations of professionals can acquire solid bases in the fascinating world of international construction.
We invite all those who share our vision to approach us with their suggestions regarding conference or publication topics, or other issues which they think could serve to achieve our common goal.
Yeşim M. Atamer | Ece Baş Süzel | Elliott Geisinger