Published 25 May 2021
(Minor revision 27/05/2021) This article is a tribute to the recently deceased Professor Derek Roebuck, whose vast areas of interest included the topic of arbitration in Greece and Rome. In particular, his book “Roman Arbitration,” published by Oxford University Press in 2004, constitutes a singular milestone in the area of research of alternative dispute resolution in the Ancient Western world. Professor Roebuck’s scientific rigor and attachment to the original sources contributed to the overall reliability of his work, and are a singular stimulus for contemporary arbitration enthusiasts- both dilettanti and experts— to contemplate, and to also admire, the millenary wisdom of our legal predecessors in the West, both Greek and Roman. In this sense, and emulating even older wisdom from the Hebrew books, we can say with respect to contemporary arbitration that “there is [almost] nothing new under the sun.” Our hope is that this discrete excursus built upon Professor Roebuck’s “Roman Arbitration” book will elicit a sense of ownership from the part of the global arbitration community, and will also constitute a call to emulate in our field the profound exactness of the ageless Roman legal genius.
“…it is hardly surprising that Roman [arbitration] practice was much like ours today, articularly in those jurisdictions whose arbitration law has followed the Roman law on compromissum.” -- Roman Arbitration, Derek Roebuck and Bruno de Loynes de Fumichon, HOLO Books (2004), at 199.
Note: A German translation of this paper will be made available on TDM at a later date as well.