CIArb News

CIArb releases new “Remote Procedures Guideline” for dispute resolution during COVID-19 restrictions

08 Apr 2020

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) has today launched its new Guidance Note on Remote Dispute Resolution Proceedings, designed to equip both neutrals and parties with the necessary tools and techniques for conducting dispute proceedings in compliance with social distance regulations. Under the authorship of CIArb’s Research Executive Kateryna Honcharenko MCIArb and Research Manager Mercy McBrayer MCIArb, the Guidance Note has received input from eminent practitioners around the world. Cutting across technical, legal and logistical issues, the Guidance Note offers practical advice on how under remote conditions, proceedings can not only continue, but can pro-actively adapt in ways that will ultimately be positive for the way dispute resolution is practiced.

Beyond the immense public health implications, COVID-19 poses a formidable challenge to the functioning of society, business and commerce. It is vital we all step up to face this challenge, and the dispute resolution community is no exception. In many ways the social distancing measures necessitated by the spread of coronavirus has merely magnified – in a very dramatic way – changes in the way we work and communicate. In developing the Guidance Note, CIArb is empowering neutrals in mediation, arbitration and a host of other dispute mechanisms to rapidly evolve. If the sector responds constructively, the experience gained during this difficult time will be immensely valuable when we finally emerge from the crisis.

From selecting appropriate communication platforms to ensuring witnesses and experts can be effectively utilised and that confidentiality is safeguarded, CIArb’s Guidance Note provides guiding principles that can be applied to any dispute procedure. The Guidance Note also includes a user-friendly ‘checklist’ of points to consider before commencing proceedings.

CIArb’s Head of Policy and External Affairs Lewis Johnston states:

“As a centre of excellence for the management and resolution of disputes, CIArb offers advice and expertise at the cutting edge of the profession. The coronavirus social distancing measures is a huge challenge, and we’re proud to unveil the Guidance Note on Remote Dispute Resolution Proceedings to allow neutrals and parties to operate as effectively as possible under these circumstances. Disputes professionals are by nature adaptive and agile, and I have full confidence that our members will rise to this challenge. Furthermore, the ad hoc procedures and rules we offer are ideally suited to allow for the kind of flexibility that will be invaluable at this time.”

Timothy Cooke FCIArb, partner at Stephenson Harwood and Vice-Chair of the sub-committee on witness conferencing established by the Singapore branch of CIArb in 2017, added:

“CIArb's Guidance Note on Remote Dispute Resolution Proceedings offers concise, practical advice to parties and neutrals considering remote hearings. It covers a broad range of technical, logistical, legal and procedural matters and concludes with a helpful checklist of items for consideration. The Guidance Note is an indispensable point of reference that will be of practical benefit for those planning a remote hearing.”

Download the new Guidance Note on Remote Dispute Resolution Proceedings here.

Join CIArb online webinar: Remote dispute resolution: A momentary adjustment for social distancing or the way of the future? on Thursday, 28 May 2020, 12.00 - 13.30 BST.


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