What is the presentation and evaluation of evidence going to look like in arbitration in the 2020s?

The International Bar Association has just published the update of its hugely influential IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration and their Commentary.

For those looking for an overhaul, perhaps to usher in the brave new world where technology takes over the arbitration process, this will be a disappointment. It is evolution, rather than revolution.

WagArb Of Counsel Laura Halonen, who was a member of the Task Force responsible for the update, comments that “there were some pretty innovative proposals put forward, giving rise to intense discussions, but in the end those were rejected as a matter of principle, in favour of a more cautious approach.”

“This makes sense”, Laura continues. “Something that is not broken, need not be fixed. The IBA Rules have served the arbitration community very well. Some provisions, such as Article 3 on document production and Article 9 on the evaluation of evidence, just needed tweaking in order to take into account recent developments and experience under the 2010 Rules.”

In the end the main change – a new provision (Article 8.2) on virtual hearings – overtook the process. Laura mentions that it was not put forward in the original discussion, but “as the pandemic physical hearings difficult next to impossible, it became evident that this was one topic on which the IBA Rules needed to take the leap and look ahead to where our profession is going, rather than where it has been.”

We thank the IBA Arbitration Committee for the timely update and look forward to continuing to draw inspiration from the IBA Rules in our virtual as well as old-fashioned face-to-face arbitrations in the years to come.


Tanya Verma

Tanya Verma is an Indian qualified lawyer currently pursuing a Master’s degree in International Dispute Resolution at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She obtained a degree in Bachelor of Business Administration and Legislative Law from a renowned university in India. During her five-year tenure in law school, Tanya had the opportunity to intern under esteemed designated Senior […]

Pablo Ortega Krstulovic

Pablo Ortega Krstulovic is a Chilean-qualified lawyer who joins us as a visiting professional from the new class of the IDR LL.M at HU. He grew up in Arica, Chile and completed his legal education at the University of Chile in Santiago. Before moving to Berlin, Pablo gained experience as an associate lawyer at one of […]

Diego Melendez Hirezi

Diego Melendez Hirezi is a Salvadorean-qualified lawyer. He graduated from the Superior School of Business and Economics of El Salvador. Currently, he is a student in the International Dispute Resolution LL.M program at Berlin Humboldt University. For more than five years, he worked as an associate in the litigation and arbitration department of Arias Law, a […]

About Wagner Arbitration

The law firm WAGNER Arbitration has its offices in Berlin and specializes in dispute resolution with a focus on arbitration. In addition, the firm offers comprehensive counseling services related to domestic and international business disputes and transactions.