A short history of AIDA
A short history of AIDA
Dott. Adelmo Kohler Rome 27.11.1914 – Meknés (Morocco) 19.5.1998
Honorary Member of AIDA – Former Secretary General from 1962 to 1974
The International Association for Insurance Law (AIDA) was founded on 28 April 1960 in Luxembourg. At the initial assembly, held at the International university of Comparative Sciences, the organisation’s 16 founders appointed a provisional Committee of Directors and two co-Presidents, Prof. Antigono Donati and Prof. Hans Möller, who were entrusted with the task of promoting the foundation of national chapters of AIDA in the Latin world (Donati) and in the Anglo-Saxon and Germanic world (Möller).
On 19 May 1960, the first national chapter was established in Italy. By the end of that year, 16 national chapters had been established in Europe, America and Asia.
The first World Congress of AIDA was held in Rome on 4-7 April 1962. The World Congress, which had been proposed by Prof. Donati during the initial assembly of AIDA, was organised by a Scientific Council of Directors chaired by Prof. Donati in his capacity as President of the Italian Chapter, the host of the event. The Congress, which surpassed all expectations, was attended by some 1,000 delegates from 50 countries. The delegates included many leading jurists and representatives of the international insurance industry. The Congress was opened in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic and closed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. One of the members of the Mexican delegation was Emilio Portes Gil, former President of the Republic.
The first Congress was devoted exclusively to fundamental issues as Prof. Donati pointed out in his opening address: “Considering the large attendance at this Congress and therefore the presence of scholars of such different origins, it is necessary to reach an understanding on questions of principle, on broad trends, and on overall architectural lines rather than on particular issues”. The three themes discussed at the Rome Congress were (1) the juridical concept of insurance; (2) the functions and scope of private insurance and social security and (3) the state control of insurance.
During the Congress, the General Assembly of National Chapters met and approved the international by-laws of AIDA and appointed officers. Prof. Donati was elected by acclamation as the first President of the Association for the four-year term from 1962 to 1966.
In 1966, the second World Congress was held in Hamburg. This Congress dealt with insurance themes of more direct import to specific countries plus issues such as state intervention in respect of insurance companies in difficulties; means of reducing the costs of civil liability insurance; and the effect of the policyholder’s behaviour on contractual guarantees. The Hamburg Congress marked the first time that general reports on the themes which were debated were based on the national reports prepared by the various chapters, a policy which has facilitated the gathering of insurance documentation.
Since 1966, Congresses have been held every four years in Paris (1970), Lausanne (1974), Madrid (1978), London (1982), Budapest (1986), Copenhagen (1990), Sydney (1994) and Marrakech (1998). The 2002 World Congress will be held in New York.
In addition to World Congresses, the AIDA by-laws authorise chapters to hold conferences at a regional or transnational level. Four Panamerican Congresses and six Ibero-Latin-American Congresses have been held.
The first Panamerican Congress of insurance law was held in Mexico City in 1964 and was organised by Emilio Portes Gil, former President of the Mexican Republic. The Congress, which was well-attended, was officially opened in the presence of Adolfo Lopez Mateos, the then President of the Republic of Mexico. Subsequent Panamerican congresses have been held in Buenos Aires (1969) and Rio de Janeiro (1971 and 1984).
The six Ibero-Latin-American Congresses, promoted by the Ibero-Latin-American Committee of AIDA, were held in Bogotá (1989), Mexico City (1991), Buenos Aires (1993), Santiago de Chile (1995), Madrid (1997) and Cartegena de Indias (2000).
In addition to Congresses, AIDA has formed special international working parties which include representatives of many chapters. The first two working parties were formed in Lausanne in 1974 with the purpose of studying the themes of “Insurance and Acts of Violence” and “Risk Accumulation and Subrogation”, both of which had been debated during that year’s World Congress. Similarly, in 1978 in Madrid two more working parties were formed for the study of “Prevention and Insurance” and “Pollution and Insurance”. Subsequently, other working parties have since been formed to study the State Supervision of Insurance, Pensions, Motor Insurance, Products Liability, Reinsurance and Intermediaries. The “Pollution and Insurance” and “Motor Insurance” working parties publish a Newsletter in addition to their other activities.
Whilst the purpose of Congresses is the debate of the most significant insurance themes at an international level, the various chapters study the same issues from a national viewpoint and contribute to possible solutions. A few national chapters, for example, Japan, Italy, Poland and Spain, have also formed regional subsections. Additionally, some national chapters have organised colloquia to debate specific themes on an international perspective.
Finally, a large proportion of AIDA’s activities is published. These include the proceedings of all World and Continental Congresses and important meetings, collections of studies on the themes dealt with by some of the working parties, including Reinsurance, Pollution and Insurance and Products Liability, and monographs. A volume of “Studies” in honour of the late Honorary President of AIDA, Prof. André Besson (“Hommage à André Besson”), edited by the Hungarian Chapter was published in 1987, and a collection of 27 monographs on insurance contract law by Prof. Marcel Fontaine, was published in two volumes published in 1990 and 1992.
The AIDA World Yearbook, published by the Italian Chapter, is a bilingual (Italian–English) volume on the history and activities of all chapters of AIDA.
In conjunction with LLP Professional Publishing, AIDA produces a quarterly journal, the International Journal of Insurance Law. The Journal contains articles, comments, reports and case notes on developments in insurance law internationally and has a section devoted to the activities of AIDA and its national chapters.
AIDA’s newest publishing venture, again in conjunction with LLP, is AIDA Mail, a quarterly newsletter for distribution to the individual members of all the national chapters. AIDA Mail provides a channel of communication between the chapters, enabling them to inform each other about their activities and about important changes in their insurance law and practice.
Dott. Adelmo Kohler