Remote hearings in international arbitration—a practical guide
Produced in partnership with Steven P. Finizio of WilmerHale
Remote hearings in international arbitration—a practical guide

The following Arbitration practice note Produced in partnership with Steven P. Finizio of WilmerHale provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Remote hearings in international arbitration—a practical guide
  • Remote hearings—options
  • Potential benefits and concerns when conducting hearings remotely
  • Potential legal issues related to remote hearings
  • Authority to proceed with a remote hearing
  • Authority to proceed with a remote hearing where the parties have consented
  • Authority to proceed with a remote hearing where all the parties object
  • Authority to proceed with a remote hearing where one party objects
  • Authority under the applicable arbitration law
  • ICCA project—a right to a physical hearing in international arbitration?
  • More...

It has become increasingly common in international arbitration for some aspects of the procedure to be conducted remotely, with some or all participants attending by video or telephone. Prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, parties and arbitrators would often agree to conduct some aspects of a case remotely for a variety of reasons, including convenience, cost savings or other efficiencies, or out of necessity (when, for example, a witness was unable to attend a hearing in person). Remote hearings by telephone or video-conference also are used in emergency arbitrator proceedings and in cases proceeding under expedited procedures rules. During the pandemic, many arbitrations proceeded with fully remote hearings, where most or all participants are located physically in different locations.

This Practice Note is intended to provide guidance on the conduct of remote hearings in international arbitration. It describes:

  1. remote hearing options

  2. potential benefits of remote hearings, as well as potential concerns

  3. legal issues that may arise in connection with remote hearings, and

  4. practical issues to be addressed in the preparation and conduct of remote hearings

The Practice Note also identifies some of the useful resources in connection with the issues discussed.

This Practice Note uses ‘remote’ to describe hearings where the participants are not all in the same physical location; however, ‘remote’, ‘virtual’ and ‘online’ are often used interchangeably to describe such hearings. This Practice Note does

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