UNCITRAL Working Group II 78th Session: Seeking the Balance Between Innovation and Due Process

The 78th session of the UNCITRAL Working Group II (the “WG II”) took place in Vienna, Austria from 18 to 22 September 2023. The WG II is currently considering proposals for future work on technology-related dispute resolution and adjudication. In this post, we report on the key discussions from this session, in particular on the model contractual clauses (“model clauses”) which the WG II is looking to finalise next year. As attendees of the 78th session, the authors observed that the discussions at the session were substantive, collaborative and productive, focused upon both issues of policy as well as the technical drafting of the model clauses.

A recurring theme was the need to find a balance between having model clauses that were, on the one hand, innovative and likely to lead to faster and more efficient resolution of disputes in practice, while, on the other hand, containing sufficient quality and due process safeguards. The tension between these two worthy goals and the search for the golden middle between them will likely continue to lie at the heart of the WG II’s further efforts, and warrant consideration by the arbitration community at large.

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