The global pandemic continues to challenge us, with various measures ranging from further lockdowns to restrictions on in-person meetings. The judicial machinery, including that in the arbitration world, has continued to function throughout the pandemic notwithstanding the difficulties of embracing innovative processes and new technology.
In January 2021, Vijay Bange wrote an article examining the challenges of using technology in formal dispute resolution proceedings. Whilst technology has of course been used in international arbitration and high court litigation (particularly in the Technology & Construction Court) for quite some time, that use has been somewhat limited with parties, their legal counsel, and the tribunal often preferring in-person hearings and hard copy papers. 2021 however saw a dramatic rise in the use of technology in dispute resolution proceedings. This was almost certainly borne out of necessity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than necessarily by choice or organic progression. If disputes were to continue to be resolved, parties had no option but to get to grips with remote hearings, electronic bundles and virtual breakout rooms. Whilst some inevitably faced technological and logistical stumbling blocks, the move to virtual hearings and electronic working proved largely successful with many disputes being resolved expeditiously along the way. In fact, the move towards technology was so successful that many people are now opting to use technology out of choice and not simply out of necessity. Continue reading “Using Technology in Arbitration: Necessity or Choice?”