THE VIRTUAL MATRIX: RE-THINKING HEARINGS IN INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION31 August 2020 By Veijo Heiskanen, Sam Moss, Anita Subedi
The received wisdom is that virtual hearings are a subprime alternative to in-person hearings, a secondary option to be used only when classical in-person hearings are not possible or too costly. However, as a result of technological advances, and a change in perceptions based on recent experiences, virtual hearings are certain to become more common in arbitral proceedings.
This note suggests that virtual hearings will allow us to re-think how hearings and arbitral proceedings should be structured, either as an alternative to or alongside in-person hearings. In particular, they open the door to moving away from the singular-block hearing format that dominates our practice, to a more flexible and dynamic concept of how international arbitration hearings can be conducted and integrated in the arbitral procedure.
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