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SCMA launches specimen directions for virtual hearings

The Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA) has launched a Specimen Directions for Virtual Hearings that can be adapted and customised to suit the circumstances.

Key points in the specimen directions include the platform of hearing, how the hearing will be conducted and where necessary, how electronic hearing bundles might be organised. They will provide guidance to arbitrators, tribunals, and users of SCMA maritime arbitrations.

The specimen directions were drafted by the SCMA Procedure Committee comprising of lawyers and arbitrators from various jurisdictions including Singapore, Hong Kong and the UK.

“With a plethora of existing guidance from arbitral bodies, associations and institutions, the SCMA Procedure Committee hopes that these specimen directions represent a user-friendly, adaptable means of securing and conducting a fair and efficient virtual hearing of evidence and submissions in any maritime case,” said Andrew G Moran QC, chairman of SCMA Procedure Committee.

Punit Oza, executive director of SCMA, commented: “The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated a push towards digitalisation and implementation of emerging technologies in many sectors of the economy. In the realm of maritime arbitration, virtual hearings have become part of the new normal and the SCMA hopes that these specimen directions will provide timely guidance to parties in SCMA virtual arbitration hearings.”

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