DIS Spring Conference 2024 (DIS-Frühjahrsveranstaltung) – Protection of the procedural integrity of arbitration proceedings (including impressions)

Newsletter 3/2024 - Past Events

2/3 May 2024, Hamburg

Hamburg, the city of trade, the city of bridges, and the city of this year’s DIS spring conference on the checks and balances for and the protection of the procedural integrity of arbitration proceedings.

Reinmar Wolff opened the main conference day on behalf of the DIS, welcoming 330 participants at the Grand Elysée Hotel.

On the first panel moderated by Ulrike Gantenberg, Andrea Meier, Stefan Riegler, and Gerhard Wagner discussed the question of whether the arbitral tribunal ensures and protects the arbitration proceedings’ integrity. All underlined that the integrity of arbitration proceedings is a fundamental element, and its lack would question arbitration being the equivalent to state court proceedings. The panellists argued that the mechanisms of party-appointed arbitrators must remain a key element of arbitration to reflect and ensure the disputes’ and parties’ various backgrounds.

A lively debate chaired by Stephan Wilske focused on guerrilla tactics in arbitration proceedings. Together with Nadia Darwazeh, Christian Konrad, Friederike Schäfer, and Thomas Weimann, the panel elaborated on the ethical aspect of various procedural measures. Each participant drew clear lines of what counsel can and definitely cannot do in the arbitration context.

Stefan Kröll opened the conference’s afternoon programme joined by panellists Wolfgang Reder, Annika Thein, and Thomas Winter to discuss the role of state courts in protecting the integrity of arbitration proceedings. The key aspects discussed included the various instruments of state courts, some of which received traction in connection with foreign proceedings commenced in violation of an arbitration agreement. The panel agreed on clear limits of courts’ review on the merits.

A mock debate moderated by Christian Oetiker focussed on “Use of AI - curse or blessing for integrity”. Philipp Duncker, Gisela Knuts, Marleen Krueger, and Veith Öhlberger presented various arguments, insight and foresight related to (hypothetical) challenges and chances of AI-accompanied arbitration proceedings. In a poll amongst the conference’s participants, 36% held that use of AI should be regulated by soft law, whereas 34% were in favour of use of AI to be regulated by the tribunals. Another 19% said that no regulation would be required and mere 9% called upon the legislators to intervene.

Gabrielle Nater-Bass of Homburger in Zurich concluded with her closing remarks. She noted that “the human in the loop” is essential by all means.

The next DIS Autumn Conference will take commence on 10 September 2024 in Berlin, whereas the next Spring Conference will take place on 7 May 2025 in Stuttgart.

Christian Steger



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