The SCC internship programme: A chance for lawyers to get to know “the Zlatan of international arbitration”
During January–Mars 2023, Adam Runestam, associate at Hammarskiöld, did an internship at the SCC. Adam graduated from Uppsala University in January 2021 and has since then worked mainly with dispute resolution. We interviewed Adam and asked him five questions to get a picture of his view of the SCC’s internship programme.
Why did you choose to do an internship at the SCC?
The law programmes at Swedish universities are centred around court litigation. While this is reasonable from an academic perspective, where the focus is to educate qualified lawyers in the broad sense and not arbitration specialists, the result is that many Swedish lawyers at the beginning of their career do not have a firm understanding of the SCC’s central role on the arena of national and international dispute resolution.
My time at the SCC has been a personal change of direction in this regard. Now I know more about the SCC’s day-to-day business. I also have a more robust understanding of the major role that the SCC plays in relation to international arbitration and how the SCC has put Sweden on the map in the context of trade, business, and peaceful dispute resolution. One could say that I have got to know “the Zlatan of international arbitration”. And I most definitely will benefit from this friendship in my career as a lawyer working with arbitration and litigation.
What were your assignments during your time at the SCC?
I had the possibility to work on many different projects during my time at the SCC. For example, I wrote a practice note regarding prima facie jurisdiction, and a memorandum concerning the role of arbitration institutes as guardians of the legitimacy of international arbitration. I also participated in a project where we compared construction arbitration administered by the SCC with ad hoc construction arbitration. The results of these projects will hopefully be published soon. Furthermore, I worked more closely with SCC Express, which is the SCC’s latest dispute resolution tool. In this capacity, I got the opportunity to put on the glasses of the arbitration users. This was both fun and instructive.
Did you have any eye-opening situations?
Before my time at the SCC, I did not have that much insight into the SCC’s day-to-day business. Therefore, almost every day at the SCC brought at least some eye-opening situations. By way of illustration, I can mention the following two examples.
First, it was fascinating to be a part of the SCC’s international arbitration machinery, where international cases of legal, political, and economic importance are administered by the SCC every day. I am even more convinced now than before that the SCC is a global cornerstone of peaceful dispute resolution.
Second, it was inspiring to see that the SCC takes responsibility when it comes to preserving the legitimacy of international arbitration, for example in relation to diversity. At almost every arbitration conference, there is at least one panel of arbitration practitioners talking about how to increase diversity in arbitration. Although the number of appointed female arbitrators are increasing, the development, in general, is slow, why the feeling of sitting in the audience can be that you are listening to empty words. However, when it comes to the SCC, the words are not empty. The words stressing the need for more diverse arbitrations uttered by people working at the SCC can be relied upon. This was apparent when listening to the reasoning at the SCC in relation to the appointment of arbitrators, whereby the SCC in every case and every decision took the diversity parameter into account, which is also evident considering the statistics of 2022, where the SCC for the first time ever appointed a majority of female arbitrators. If this interview would have taken place as part of a radio show, this would have been the time for fanfare.
What was most fun during your time at the SCC?
Let me refer to what I just said: Thus, being a part of an arbitration machinery that stands for peaceful dispute resolution on a global level. An arbitration machinery where the lawyers and case administrators every day and in every decision substantiate the words spoken at conferences with a structured and modern way of working and thinking. And an arbitration machinery to be proud of as a lawyer working in Sweden.
What are your three best tips for lawyers wanting to do an internship at the SCC?
1. Think about doing the internship.
2. Apply for the internship.
3. Do the internship.