ICC Arbitration and ADR Commission Report on Leveraging Technology for Fair, Effective and Efficient International Arbitration Proceedings

This report identifies the most used technologies to support the practice of international arbitration today, describes features and functionalities that may enhance the arbitral process, and provides commentary and resources about useful procedural practices and potential pitfalls that can be avoided.

In response to COVID-19, the ICC Arbitration and ADR Commission established a Working Group to update the 2017 edition of its report on information technology (IT) in international arbitration, which identifies issues to be considered when using digital solutions and processes in conducting arbitration proceedings.

This report has undergone a complete overhaul and now includes a variety of practical resources, including sample procedural language relating to technology tools and solutions, checklists for virtual hearings and items to consider when choosing an online case management platform, and a template procedural order. The report’s conclusions and recommendations benefitted from survey responses from over 500 international arbitration community members on their experiences with, and opinions of, technology tools and solutions.

The survey results indicate that the use of technology tools in international arbitration will increase in the future, including a break from old practices, such as hard copy filings, and the increased use of other, currently underused forms of technology, such as e-briefs with hyperlinked exhibits.

The report points to the necessity of ensuring there is early consideration of how technology should be leveraged in our individual matters and to revisit past assumptions about how hearings will unfold. As an example, most respondents believed that there should be no presumption in favour of physical, hybrid or virtual hearings; rather, the tribunal should decide what is appropriate based on the circumstances of the case.

The report does not endorse any specific developer, product, or service, as technological developments continue to evolve rapidly, and different stakeholders have their own unique needs and circumstances, making it difficult to recommend a single technology that works in every case. Rather, the report is meant to provide general information about tools and services that exist so that parties and tribunals can make informed decisions while investigating the marketplace for themselves.

The report is broken down into six sections and five appendices. Below you will find an outline to help you navigate its contents.

  • Section 1: Introduces the report
  • Section 2: Addresses the relevance of technology to arbitrator selection, including expectations about technological competence and technological literacy
  • Section 3: Focuses on effective case management when integrating technology in the arbitral process
  • Section 4: Canvasses a wide range of practical issues related to the electronic exchange of communications and notifications in an arbitration procedure
  • Section 5: Identifies other uses of technology parties and tribunals may wish to consider, such as e-briefs and machine learning artificial intelligence
  • Section 6: Flags practical considerations and potential pitfalls related to the use of technology to facilitate evidentiary hearings, with special attention paid to the organisation of both virtual and hybrid hearings
  • Appendix A: Provides an overview of the survey results
  • Appendix B: Contains sample procedural language relating to technology tools and solutions
  • Appendix C: Comprises five organisational checklists for virtual hearings
  • Appendix D: Offers a template procedural order for the conduct of evidentiary hearings via videoconference
  • Appendix E: Includes a checklist of issues to consider when choosing an online case management platform