Asia Pacific Arbitration Virtual Hearings

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Welcome to our second Asia-Pacific regional arbitration publication.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and transformed dispute resolution and international arbitration on an unprecedented scale. Countries in the Asia-Pacific region were amongst the first to be affected by lockdown measures and travel restrictions imposed due to the pandemic. Initially, arbitrations in the region were either delayed or rescheduled but as these restrictions and social distancing measures continue to be in place, and are expected to be in place for at least some period of time, we have seen a shift in the way arbitration hearings are conducted with many arbitrations being conducted virtually/online or at least with some virtual components.

The major international arbitration centres in the Asia Pacific region have all also now released guidance on virtual/online hearings and become central proponents of the same.

Recently, DLA Piper published the first global, empirical study on the use of virtual hearings during the COVID-19 confinement and a second report reviewing key global developments in response to COVID-19 on Online Arbitration Hearings.

In this edition, we take an in-depth look at the various procedural rules and guidance on virtual/online hearings published by major arbitration institutions within the Asia Pacific region and the practical aspects of virtual hearings being carried out in the region.