Heading Virtual: Using Tech in International Arbitration
Technology, notably 'videoconferencing' and hearing room technology, continues to be increasingly deployed in international arbitration.
Arbitration hearing centres have moved quickly to provide online hearing alternatives and "hybrid" offerings of partially online sessions. Many of those who were previously sceptical about videoconferencing's widespread use has had little choice but to use it.
International arbitration is well adapted for using technology in arbitral proceedings in several ways because of the latitude afforded by institutional standards like the ICC and LCIA. Parties may face several Redfern demands (i.e., documentary production requirements) and the need to call witnesses and experts from all over the world, as well as an arbitral tribunal made up of specialists arbitrators from several jurisdictions.
The positive outcome of moving online
In numerous instances, arbitration has been lauded as a cost-effective and efficient means of settling disputes. While proponents of such features have applauded them, the international arbitration community has been criticised for failing to regulate costs effectively and using time-consuming procedures that national courts are abandoning, such as substantial document production.
Arbitration costs are now routinely regarded as the ‘worst feature,' primarily driven by a lack of speed. The COVID encounter, on the other hand, has proven not only that technology exists to make the arbitral process more efficient but that technology is also inexpensive (and in some cases free).
The rise of virtual hearing rooms appears to be a consequence of how arbitration has changed in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Users have been encouraged to consider other options than in-person hearings.
Because of COVID, travel restrictions have made it physically difficult for clients and attorneys to visit client offices to gather papers for evaluation; thus, greater dependence on technology is required to bridge the physical gap. If teams working remotely are to operate successfully, even instances with fewer documents for review and production increasingly necessitate electronic review systems.
The wide range of document management and review systems available emphasises the ‘resource gap' in international arbitration yet again. To avoid a ‘proxy war' in the uptake and deployment of review technology, ‘industry standards' with up-to-date procedural norms must be developed and promulgated. There is little accessible, except the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators' Protocol for E-Disclosure in International Arbitration.
International arbitration allows parties to utilise technology to assist them in accomplishing these goals while considering the character and intricacy of the issue. The use of technology in arbitration should benefit the parties and the Tribunal, not a burden. It can be used for some or all of the following steps. The COVID encounter, on the other hand, has proven not only that technology exists to make the arbitral process more efficient but that technology is also inexpensive (and in some cases free).
This Article Does Not Intend To Hurt The Sentiments Of Any Individual Community, Sect, or Religion, Etcetera. This Article Is Based Purely On The Authors Personal Views And Opinions In The Exercise Of The Fundamental Right Guaranteed Under Article 19(1)(A) And Other Related Laws Being Force In India, For The Time Being. Further, despite all efforts made to ensure the accuracy and correctness of the information published, White Code VIA Mediation and Arbitration Centre Foundation shall not be responsible for any errors caused due to human error or otherwise.