China Arbitration Summit 2020: Practical Tips for Holding Effective Remote Hearings


China Arbitration Summit 2020: Practical Tips for Holding Effective Remote Hearings

In March 2020, most arbitral institutions moved to remote workstations to protect staff and clients from the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, hundreds of arbitration hearings have been conducted virtually, in what is unquestionably an unprecedented shift in how the majority of proceedings are conducted.

For the China Arbitration Summit 2020, ICSID spoke with leading arbitrators and counsel about their experiences with remote hearings and the lessons they have learned as result.

The conversation starts with the threshold question of whether a remote hearing is permitted by the relevant rules, how to plan for a remote hearing, and the equipment parties, tribunals, experts and witnesses need to participate effectively. Arbitrators and counsel also discuss how to handle presentations and exhibits, manage documents on the record, ensure the integrity of witnesses, and adapt approaches to the cross-examination of witnesses and experts. The result is a unique set of insights into the practical considerations required of remote hearings that will benefit both beginners and seasoned veterans of online proceedings.


Juan Fernandez Armesto, Armesto & Asociados

Albert Jan van den Berg, Hanotiau & van den Berg

Cavinder Bull, Drew & Napier LLP

Joan Donoghue, International Court of Justice

Dmitri Evseev, Arnold & Porter LLP

Jean Kalicki, Independent Arbitrator

Kevin Kim, Peter & Kim

Toby Landau, Essex Court Chambers

Lars Markert, Nishimura & Asahi

Yoshimi Ohara, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Sylvie Tabet, Government of Canada

David Unterhalter, Justice of the High Court, South Africa

Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Zulficar & Partners

Show Notes

(1:25) The applicable arbitration rules and remote hearings

(2:30) Equipment and technical requirements

(8:01) Pre-hearing organization meetings

(10:09) Remote hearing protocols

(11:08) Time differences and hearing schedules

(16:15) Dealing with technical glitches

(18:35) The security of online platforms

(19:28) Transparency and confidentiality in open hearings

(20:12) Intra-team communication

(23:39) Communication amongst the tribunal members

(24:28) Who should appear on screen

(25:52) Presenting documents and managing electronic bundles

(30:52) Examining witnesses

(32:53) Ensuring the integrity of witnesses

(38:44) Interpretation in remote hearings

(40:12) Remote advocacy