In drafting the Report ‘Leveraging Technology for Fair, Effective and Efficient International Arbitration Proceedings' (the ‘Report'), the ICC Working Group established by the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR (the ‘Commission') adjusted its mandate to keep up with the disruptive effects of technological advances. In spring 2020, the Working Group started out with a mandate to update the second edition of the Report ‘Issues to be Considered when Using Information Technology in International Arbitration' (2017, and first published in 2004). But on submission of the first draft, the Working Group noted that a mere update would fall short of real time developments. One year into the pandemic, digitalization in dispute resolution had picked up pace. Thus, the Commission's Steering Committee provided the runway for the Working Group to go beyond. In an extra six months, the Working Group reached more users with its IT survey, requested feedback from national committees and tweaked the messaging: since digital technology already affected dispute resolution, the Report now focuses on ‘Leveraging Technology for Fair, Effective and Efficient International Arbitration Proceedings'.
As survey results and national responses came back, users of IT in international arbitration provided the data to build on. The 520 users represented diverse regions and they converged on two key points: 93% felt that ‘technology increased efficiency and cost effectiveness of the arbitral process, and equally significant, 83% of users felt that ‘technology had been underutilized' prior to the pandemic.
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