Giving witness evidence in arbitration
Produced in partnership with Simmons & Simmons
Last updated on 16/10/2019

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with Simmons & Simmons provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Giving witness evidence in arbitration
  • Attendance at hearing
  • Non-attendance by a witness
  • Giving evidence
  • Weight given to witness evidence
  • Assisting witnesses

Giving witness evidence in arbitration

The way in which witness evidence is presented is not determined in accordance with a fixed procedure and will therefore vary from arbitration to arbitration. It is for the tribunal to decide on the appropriate process for the dispute and to determine whether and to what extent there should be oral evidence. The procedure should be set out early in the proceedings by the tribunal so that the parties understand how their evidence should be given.

Traditionally, tribunals in international arbitration have adopted an approach in which witnesses give evidence orally and adversarial cross-examination takes place. The IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration (IBA Rules) adopt this approach. However, in December 2018 the Rules on the Efficient Conduct of Proceedings in International Arbitration (the Prague Rules) were signed, providing parties with an alternative approach to adopt that is more in line with the approach to witness evidence in civil jurisdictions. While the Prague Rules still require witness statements to be produced, they encourage a more inquisitorial approach from the tribunal, rather than allowing the parties to control the testing of witness evidence through extensive cross-examination. Cross-examination can still take place, but the tribunal will control the scope of the questions put to the witness.

How often the Prague Rules are adopted remains to be seen. This Practice Note assumes

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