This is an information that the VIAC Secretariat is available for you and at your service on site, per telephone and email. As we have to adapt on a daily basis, this information is updated regularly.
The following measures have been taken to safeguard your health and that of our staff while still ensuring our services.
- The case management is fully operational due to our electronic case management system that was introduced in 2019.
- VIAC encourages parties to submit all written submissions, and any supporting documentation, including witness statements and expert reports, preferably by electronic means, acc. to Article 12 para. 2 Vienna Rules. Regarding the Statement of Claim we kindly request submittance of sufficient hard-copies for Respondent(s) acc. to Article 12 para. 1. Arbitrators and Mediators are also encouraged to use electronic copies of case-related documents.
- For the time being, postal service and DHL are working in Austria without problems, but this might change in future. The VIAC Secretariat may send a copy of the arbitral award in electronic form in certain cases. Article 36 para 5 Vienna Rules was clarified in this respect with effect from 1 April 2020. A detailed commentary on this new version as well as general information on how VIAC arbitration proceedings are conducted in COVID times can be found in the following article Fremuth-Wolf, Auswirkungen der COVID-19-Krise auf VIAC-Schiedsverfahren, ecolex 5/2020 (in German only). A summary of the article is available on the website of MANZ'sche Verlags- und Universitätsbuchhandlung GmbH.
This is a global situation that affects all of us, and collaboration and sharing of good ideas should be encouraged.
Holding Hearings in Times of COVID-19 - “The Vienna Protocol – A Practical Checklist for Remote Hearings”
In-person hearings can not take place at the premises of VIAC at the moment (as of 2 November 2020).
Please contact your case manager as soon as possible if you are planning to hold a hearing in the near future. There is also one specially equipped room for video-conferencing that can be rented for virtual hearings. Please get in touch with the Secretariat should you wish to book this room.
The newly released “The Vienna Protocol – A Practical Checklist for Remote Hearings” that may be used for arbitration proceedings administered by any institution provide useful guidance for parties, counsel and arbitrators when holding hearings in times of COVID-19:
- The Vienna Protocol - A Practical Checklist for Remote Hearings
- CIArb - Guidance Note on Remote Dispute Resolution Proceedings
- Seoul Protocol on Video Conferencing in International Arbitration
- DELOS - Resources on Holding Remote or Virtual Arbitration and Mediation Hearings
- ICCA Research Project "Does a Right to a Physical Hearing Exist in International Arbitration?"
Parties, counsel and arbitrators are encouraged and recommended to hold a case management conference to discuss the questions raised in the checklists, which can also serve as an agenda for such call.
You can find further information (including legal issues) in the following article published by Maxi Scherer: "Remote Hearings in International Arbitration: An Analytical Framework".
Public Consultation for a Protocol for Online Case Management in International Arbitration
The PlatformsProtocol was launched today for public consultation until 31 August 2020.
As arbitration processes increasingly move online (particularly in the current environment), this comprehensive guidance with some really helpful checklists will be of great assistance to arbitral participants looking to use an online case_management tool. It will also help drive progress in this area, encouraging greater collaboration between legal, process and technology experts.
This Protocol is the result of a collaborative effort by Herbert Smith Freehills, Ashurst, CMS, DLA Piper, Hogan Lovells and Latham & Watkins. We were pleased to input on the Protocol during the drafting stage, and we look forward to continuing the discussion on this important topic.