Because many persons, including members, have asked how the Academy first began, this question is addressed here. In 1981, it occurred to Professor Donald King that there should be some recognition of outstanding scholars in commercial and consumer law and a network of contacts for the exchange of ideas. The idea of an international academy would fulfill both. His experience would be helpful in organizing it. Professor King had taught commercial law in several American universities following his graduation from Harvard Law School in 1957 where he studied with some leading commercial law authorities and served as a faculty research assistant. During this time, he had written law journal articles, published casebooks, gave continuing legal education lectures for lawyers, and organized national conference discussions. All of this gave him a wide acquaintance with leading authorities throughout the United States.
Professor King also had undertaken three month trips every summer to Europe for seven years. Traveling extensively throughout Europe, he talked with many commercial or consumer law professors; thus he got to know some of the leading authorities in England and Europe. He also traveled during some of his sabbaticals which included an around the world tour in the 1970s. Also beginning in the late 1960s, he attended most of the annual Canadian conferences on Commercial and Consumer Law, which had been organized by Professor Jacob Ziegel, meeting leading authorities from Canada and some of the commonwealth nations.
Professor King also asked some for suggestions as to other possible candidates, including countries underrepresented. Among those who were very helpful in this regard were Boris Kozolchyk and Miguel Acosta Romero (with extra knowledge of Central and South American), Roy Goode and Jacob Ziegel (with extra knowledge of England, Canada, and the Commonwealth), Ulrich Drobnig (with extra knowledge of Western and Eastern Europe), David Harland, Mary Hiscock and David Allan (with extra knowledge of the Australian area), Jan Hellner (with extra knowledge of Scandinavia), and Bernd Stauder (with extra knowledge of consumer law experts).
Special acknowledgment is due for Dean Miguel Acosta Romero and Professor Arcelia Quintana for their work in organizing the first Academy conference in Mexico City, Mexico. Officers were formally elected and some of the major principles and organizational matters were undertaken. Members who attended this conference were named as Founding Members, and included Miguel Acosta Romero, Arcelia Quintana, Donald King, Ronald Cuming, William Neilson, Pedro Silva-Ruiz, Robert Riegert, Hal Scott, Raul Etcheverry, Igncio Winizky, Boris Kozolohyk and Laureano Gutierrez-Falla.
Those who organized the conferences both in earlier and later years, mentioned in the section on conferences, also deserve great credit for helping to solidify the Academy, as well as those who faithfully attended them. Suggestions by various members throughout the following years gave rise to the current membership.