Getting Ready for the “New Normal”: Institutional Perspectives on Virtual Hearings

Cemre Cise Kadioglu (Ph.D. Candidate, Ankara University Graduate School of Social Sciences) & Sadaff Habib (Beale & Company Solicitors LLP)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, travel disruptions and other restrictions have led to postponed arbitration hearings. For this reason, parties are increasingly demanding virtual hearings. This requires arbitral  institutions to have the necessary technology to conduct virtual hearings and to be prepared with a plan concerning the conduct of online hearings, particularly with regard to issues such as due process, cybersecurity and confidentiality.

Continue reading Getting Ready for the “New Normal”: Institutional Perspectives on Virtual Hearings

Due process concerns in virtual witness testimonies: An Indian Perspective

By Saniya Mirani, Advocate of the Bombay High Court

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 decision to allow video-conference should depend upon the “sufficiency” of the reasons given.

Continue reading Due process concerns in virtual witness testimonies: An Indian Perspective

Does issuing a dissenting opinion to an arbitral award constitute a violation of the German ordre public?

Matthias Schrader and Dr. Johannes Schmidt (Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP)

A one paragraph obiter dictum in an annulment decision rendered by the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court (the “Court”) on 16 January 2020 (26 Sch 14/18) reignited an old debate: are dissenting opinions in German arbitration proceedings permissible? 

Continue reading Does issuing a dissenting opinion to an arbitral award constitute a violation of the German ordre public?

Franchising Arbitration in Brazil: What to Expect from the New Franchising Legislation?

By Caio de Faro Nunes, Attorney at Salusse, Marangoni, Parente e Jabur Advogados and Victoria Kromann Romero, Case Manager at CAM-CCMC

Brazil’s new Franchising Law (Law No. 13.966/19) was published on December 27th, 2019 and became effective as of March 27th, 2020. One of the innovations (more of a confirmation) set forth by the new legislation is the provision contained in article 7, paragraph 1, which states that “the parties may resort to arbitration to resolve any disputes related to the franchise agreement” (free translation).

Continue reading Franchising Arbitration in Brazil: What to Expect from the New Franchising Legislation?

Online Dispute Resolution Platforms: Cybersecurity Champions in the COVID-19 Era? Time for Arbitral Institutions to Embrace ODRs

By Wendy Gonzales Lozano (Legal Counsel ASUS and Board Member MAA) and Naimeh Masumy (ITA)

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the interest in alternative dispute resolution, especially arbitrations conducted online. The greater utilization of online platforms and digitization has coincided with the growing frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks. Reportedly, by 2021 a business will fall victim to cyber-attacks every 11 seconds. Therefore, it is critical for these platforms to provide secure digital environments where the exchange of communications, storage of evidence and files, and virtual hearings can be conducted remotely and securely. The necessity of providing easily accessible platforms apt to handle complex disputes has brought to light the importance of online dispute resolution (ODR) platforms. Some of these platforms have taken the initiative to encompass robust security measures through which they implement standards consistent with the existing protocol on cybersecurity (2020 Protocol). Such measures may shift the arbitration landscape, in which these platforms may play an important role in institutional and ad hoc arbitration globally.

This note highlights some of the good practices of security measures, which mirror standards enshrined in the 2020 Protocol. In doing so, we make references to notable ODRs that embody these features. We then underscore the role of arbitral institutions in giving greater recognition to cybersecurity needs as they embark on the digitization of their services.

Continue reading Online Dispute Resolution Platforms: Cybersecurity Champions in the COVID-19 Era? Time for Arbitral Institutions to Embrace ODRs