Resolving Arbitration disputes using blockchain algorithm
The author will be discussing about the incorporation of blockchain technology in the arbitration procedure.
1) Notice of Arbitration- The process of arbitration begins with a notice of arbitration by the claimant. Based on the method adopted in the contract, the Claimant having met the conditions of the dispute resolution clause can send the notice of arbitration. The claimant will require to create a digital platform using a simple blockchain algorithm. This platform will be replicated at the respondent's place of operation such that the arbitration can be conducted smoothly. It is like an app where both parties exchange information. This blockchain needs to be provided to all stakeholders in an arbitration.
2) Appointment of Arbitrator- Once the notice of arbitration has been sent, the appointment of the tribunal/Arbitrator can be done on the blockchain. The tribunal is part of this blockchain and the exchange of documents, emails and messages, etc. are all recorded automatically and replicated at all stakeholders computers, without the involvement of any third party. The case management conference can be done online using integrated video conferencing facility of blockchain which gets automatically recorded, transcribed and filed at the computers of all stakeholders in original and this cannot be manipulated.
3) The Pleadings- The Pleading viz. statement of claim, statement of defence, counterclaim, reply to a counterclaim, and further submissions etc. can be submitted online and are automatically served to the parties and the tribunal and an acknowledgement is automatically generated. This ensures time-bound submissions. Any delays will automatically be penalised in terms of the cost or time or cost penalty prescribed by the tribunal or as agreed between the parties.
4) Interim Measures- When interim measures are sought from courts, they can be either executed on the blockchain if the judicial system of a particular jurisdiction allows for seamless digital interface wit the petitioner's computers. If not, the court orders can be subsequently executed offline by the tribunal, as the case may be. In case of automated interface with the judicial system, the execution of court orders can happen immediately if the jurisdiction's administrative machinery is blockchain.
5) Taking of Evidence and Preparation of Award- Taking of evidence and preparation of award, is where blockchain can be very efficient. Submission of witness statements, submission of documents and exhibits or any other evidence can be done by the parties online and they are automatically delivered to all stakeholders. Artificial Intelligence can carry out the role of document forensics and statistical detective, identifying instances of fraud and statistical mismatch. Statements of expert witnesses, oral submission by experts and expert communications can be done using integrated suites and recorded on blockchain.
Using blockchain technology can enhance time efficiency and result in recreation of costs as oral submissions get transcribed in real time and are available to the counsel during witness cross examination.