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Browsing by Author "Onimus, Louise"

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  • Onimus, Louise (2022)
    In the last two years, the world has been controlled by Covid-19 imposed travel restrictions, lockdowns and social distancing guidelines. Especially in the beginning of the pandemic, court proceedings temporarily came to a halt or suffered significant delays. Contrary to this, in arbitral proceedings, there has been a seamless transition from in-person to remote hearings. Remote hearings are flexible and efficient, but their compliance with procedural principles in arbitration has been called into question and intensely discussed by arbitration professionals. Despite Covid-19 restrictions currently being lifted in many countries, it is possible that remote hearings will become the “new normal”, i.e. the standard procedure in arbitration. This raises the question whether the use of remote hearings as the new default procedure would be in line with procedural principles or if on the contrary remote hearings should only be used occasionally. In order to answer this question, this thesis examines remote hearings together with procedural principles applicable to arbitral proceedings. More importantly, it contains an in-depth analysis of relevant case-law, which helps understand the relationship of remote hearings and procedural principles. The main conclusion that can be drawn is that remote hearings are generally in line with procedural principles, if planned well and conducted without technical difficulties. Possible downsides to remote hearings are outweighed by the many advantages that remote hearings bring to arbitral proceedings, especially flexibility and efficiency. Therefore, if certain safeguards are respected, nothing is standing in the way of remote hearings becoming the “new normal” in arbitral proceedings.