The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus had a severe impact on all industries worldwide, the international arbitration scene certainly being no exception. The pandemic has achieved what 89 % participants of the 2018 Queen Mary (“The Evolution of international Arbitration” (https://www.whitecase.com/sites/whitecase/files/files/download/publications/qmul-international-arbitration-survey-2018-19.pdf page 33) suggested, i.e. an increased use of video conferencing in international arbitration proceedings. Of late, the constraining measures imposed by numerous governments across the globe has propelled the increased usage of technology in international arbitration proceedings.
This is for the first time that due to worldwide social distancing measures, video conferencing is being used on a large scale in arbitration proceedings. It is the author’s opinion that video conferencing for hearings will stay in many cases even long after the virus will be gone. The significant financial and environmental benefits to be expected from reductions in the travel associated with virtual hearings are evident. The necessary technologies are available at minimal expense – a fraction of the cost of travel for the many participants to distant hearings and accommodations there for long periods.