Before the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual witness testimonies were prevalent in specific instances, such as when witnesses could not reach the venue because of illness. Article 8.1 of IBA Rules on Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration permits virtual testimony only at the discretion of the tribunal. The Commentary on the Rules establishes that the tribunal’s…

The Sixth Sarajevo Arbitration Day conference took place on 23 October 2020 and it was dedicated to the opportunities to adopt positive arbitration practices amidst the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic. This annual conference organized by the Association ARBITRI took place online for the first time and gathered legal practitioners from all over the…

The first day of Hong Kong Arbitration Week 2020, hosted by the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”), was an opportunity for practitioners to discuss the topic: “Socially Distanced or Procedurally Flawed: International Arbitration in times of COVID“, which sought to address some of the ever-evolving challenges of conducting virtual hearings in times of COVID….

This is the second of a two-part blog post series for an upcoming publication titled International Arbitration and the COVID-19 Revolution edited by us. As detailed in Part 1 of this series, the book contains 17 chapters from 31 leading international arbitration practitioners. The focus of the contributions range from procedural topics in international arbitration…

The COVID-19 pandemic has exerted an unprecedented impact on individuals, entities, businesses, and states. National court systems and alternative dispute resolution regimes have also been severely affected. Yet, international arbitration has demonstrated itself to be both adaptable and resilient throughout the crisis and emerged more strongly positioned as a method of dispute resolution for a…

Since COVID-19, virtually everything that can be moved online has been moved online. The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”)’s flagship event, SIAC Congress, is no exception and as such, it was most befitting that the motion of the debate was “This House believes that Virtual Hearings are just as effective as In-Person Hearings“. The debate…

In normal times, the 32nd Annual ITA Workshop and Annual Meeting would have been an in-person summer event held in Austin, Texas. In this brave new world, the Workshop was completely reimagined to be held virtually via Zoom on 17 – 19 June 2020. Introduced by Joseph E. Neuhaus (ITA Chair, Sullivan & Cromwell), and…

The COVID-19 outbreak as of now affects 183 states and a number of territories. Out of 164 State signatories to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (the “New York Convention”) only Marshall Islands, Tonga, Palau are not affected by the pandemic; all 153 state members to the ICSID Convention…

On 11 August 2020 the LCIA unveiled the long-awaited update to its Arbitration Rules (the 2020 Rules). The 2020 Rules will become effective on 1 October 2020 and will apply to arbitrations commenced from that date onwards. They will supersede the 2014 edition of the LCIA Arbitration Rules (the 2014 Rules). The 2020 Rules introduce…

Online dispute resolution (“ODR”) in international arbitration has been made feasible by the development of technology and its use has been stimulated by the Covid-19 pandemic that gave rise to higher demand for virtual proceedings. UNCITRAL Technical Notes on Online Dispute Resolution defines ODR as “a mechanism for resolving disputes through the use of electronic…

Virtual hearings are not a new idea. The arbitration community only started to seriously discuss the benefits and the logistics of having virtual hearings in lieu of physical hearings when the world was put on pause by COVID-19 in around February 2020. It is not easy to organize a virtual hearing, let alone all the…

The impact of the pandemic on arbitration has been the subject of several posts on this Blog (see here and here). Rightly so, this is a seismic event in history that certainly has shaken the dispute resolution process, both state sponsored judiciaries as well as arbitration tribunals and practice generally. Entities which fall victim during…

Conducting all or parts of a hearing in the form of a virtual hearing has become a daily reality for many arbitrators, parties, and witnesses as the COVID pandemic continues to disrupt the legal practice. But as countries gradually ease out of lockdown and find their way into a “new” normal, it may be worth…

Travel and other restrictions due the COVID-19 pandemic have meant that virtual hearings have become the “new normal” for international commercial arbitration, and even perhaps for investor-state arbitrations. But what are the longer-term prospects for virtual hearings or “e-arbitration” more generally, and even for the relative popularity of arbitral seats, in the wake of the…

The third edition of the Jeantet “Arbitrating in CEE and CIS” roundtable was held virtually during the Paris Arbitration Week on Wednesday, 8 July 2020. The topic of this year’s edition laid stress upon “Do and Don’t’s When Choosing a Seat and Enforcing in CEE/ CIS/ Russia: State of Play”. Because of both the significant…

The 4th ICC European Conference on International Arbitration took place on Tuesday 7 July 2020, during the second day of the Paris Arbitration Week. This first-ever digital edition saw record numbers with 1,450 participants connecting from all corners of the world. Alexis Mourre, President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, acknowledged in his welcome…

In addition to the serious implications for people’s health and public healthcare services, the COVID-19 pandemic also imposes challenges for the administration of justice.   Increasing Demand for Amicable Methods of Dispute Resolution The current crisis creates a need for business and its legal representatives to consider carefully appropriate and alternative options for the efficient,…

A special COVID-19-themed SIAC Philippines webinar took place on 18 June 2020. The webinar examined the availability of interim relief to parties to commercial disputes, both in international arbitration and through courts in the Philippines and Singapore, with the panel members sharing their observations on trends and changes since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic….

While the hurdles of virtual hearings have been documented with numerous intelligible solutions, little attention has been turned towards how advocacy is faring in the offline-online migration. It is an attractive notion to think that advocacy, in its subjective glory, can be seamlessly transplanted from the offline world and into the virtual dimension with little…

Introduction The use of virtual hearings is not new in international arbitration. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated, and accelerated, a shift from in-person hearings to virtual hearings. With travel bans in place and no visibility of when countries will open their borders again, in-person hearings will likely be the exception rather than the norm…

“Success in life is not for those who run fast, but for those, who keep running and are always on the move.” Bangambiki Habyarimana, Pearls Of Eternity   This expression may work in both, personal and professional situations. Indeed, there seems to exist a consensus that “arbitration has become a big legal business” and a…

In response to a query “whether an arbitral tribunal can order virtual proceedings where any of the parties to the arbitration does not consent?” posed during the drafting of the Africa Arbitration Academy Protocol on Virtual Arbitral Hearings in Africa, Professor Mohamed Abdel Wahab has now published a 6-point pathway (“Abdel Wahab’s Pathway”) that may…

Background There is much public discourse on the impact of the ongoing pandemic on international arbitrations. Commentators and scholars have provided perspectives on how to navigate and find safe harbours in the uncharted waters of COVID-19. In the “new normal” of wide-ranging travel advisories and restrictions, there is an emerging consensus to better integrate the…

During a vivid “virtual” presentation delivered by the well-known arbitrator, professor and practitioner, Gary Born, the topic of virtual hearings was addressed. Another well-known international arbitrator, Elena Gutierrez García and the President of the AMCHAM-Peru Arbitration Center, José Daniel Amado, moderated the discussion. At the outset, Mr. Born clarified that virtual hearings are not a…