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SCC arbitrators’ tips for a successful virtual hearing

A list of tips from SCC arbitrators on how to conduct a successful hearing online.

Published 2020-11-26


Be well prepared and very organized! Read the many guides available on virtual hearings.

Use an external service offered by a specialised vendor for very large or technologically complicated hearings (e.g. involving simultaneous translation).

Carefully consider how to conduct the hearing as authentically as possible. Give participants clear guidance on the technical aspects and digital etiquette, including on such details as lighting and eye contact. Do not be afraid to micromanage.

• Should the camera be on at all times?

• Should counsel sit with the witness?

Provide participants with a detailed agenda well in advance.
• Keep in mind that the pace of a virtual hearing is slower than an in-person hearing.

• Allow for more breaks and keep the days shorter.

• Include time for technical issues.

Safe up the tech!
• Make sure everyone has access to the documents and knows how to locate relevant sections.

• Test run the hearing platform, individually and as a group, and ensure everyone knows the relevant functions (e.g. mute, video, presentation).

• Have an IT-expert on standby.

• Have a back-up plan.

In October 2020, the SCC conducted a survey with SCC arbitrators to learn more about the use and attitudes towards using virtual hearings.

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