About Piet Sanders

  • Piet Sanders

    The establishment and design of the School of Law was mainly the work of one man: Professor Piet Sanders (1912-2012). Appointed professor at the Netherlands School of Economics in 1959, Sanders was a leading lawyer in corporate law and arbitration law.

    With his inaugural lecture 'Towards a European public limited company,' he showed himself to be a visionary. However, it would take almost fifty years before this was realised.

    Foto van Piet Sanders

Sanders' innovative and holistic vision was also expressed in the education curriculum of the Rotterdam School of Law. Sanders' ambition was to realise integration with social disciplines, such as economics and social science subjects. When asked about his urge to innovate, Sanders always drew parallels with his other great love; the art. "Art and law are, in fact, of the same kind. Both are about constantly finding new forms." As avid art collectors (and connoisseurs), Piet Sanders and his wife Ida supported many young talented artists. Their collection - later donated mainly to various museums - featured works by Karel Appel, Henry Moore, and Marino Marini.

Piet Sanders was a special person. In his autobiography "Memories", he sketches his childhood in Schiedam, his legal career, and his life in the Second World War. He spent a year and a half in a prison camp. After the war, Sanders became an advisor to the government in the Dutch East Indies. He was involved in the Linggadjati Agreement, which peacefully settled the sovereignty of the new Republic of Indonesia. When the war did break out, Sanders resigned and – heavily opposed by the Dutch government – ​​resumed his legal practice. This would result in an impressive career, with Sanders becoming a prominent lawyer in the field of arbitration law and corporate law. He was, among other things, closely involved in the New York Convention in 1958 and the creator of various international treaties in arbitration law. Piet Sanders retired in 1981. Until his death, at the age of 100, he remained closely involved with 'his' Erasmus School of Law. Piet Sanders left an important mark on the ins and outs of the School. The School's library and the research qualification for faculty is named after Sanders.

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