Modifications in procedures in hearings due to the implementation of LargeScale Social Restrictions (LSSR) during the COVID-19 pandemic are required to manage the dispute resolution process between the disputing parties. Badan Arbitrase Nasional Indonesia (BANI Arbitration Center) issued Decree Number: 20.015/V/ SK-BANI/HU concerning the Rules and Procedures for Conducting Arbitration Electronically Electronic Arbitration (Decree 015/2020), as a guidelines if the physical hearing is difficult to conduct.
Decree 015/2020 applies as a reference if the parties have agreed to conduct the hearing electronically. In general, Decree 015/2020 regulates the following matters:
1. The parties may attend the hearing electronically using internet-based telecommunication facilities, including but not limited to video conferencing facilities, which the parties may agree on the platform;1
2. The parties are obliged to agree that only the official representatives of each party can attend the hearing electronically;2
3. The parties are not allowed to record the hearing;3 and
4. All additional costs arising from the electronic hearing will be borne by the parties, where the parties are also required to pay a deposit in advance.4
Apart from the general arrangements as described in Decree 015/2020, the parties also need to pay attention to technical matters to ensure that the arbitration hearing runs smoothly, including:
1. Stability of internet connection to maintain uninterrupted and good quality communication during the hearing;
2. Selection of an adequate and reliable electronic hearing platform;
3. Utilization of case document management services, so that the parties can quickly refer to, retrieve and display documents during the hearing;
4. Utilization of live-note services as hearing transcription for ease of reference to the proceedings and to oral arguments, especially in instances when there are technical difficulties with sound equipment; and
5. Availability of other necessary facilities. For example, security and procedures to ensure that persons attending the hearing are authorized to and are official representatives of the parties.
To conclude, communication and good faith from each party are necessary to ensure that the entire electronic hearing is run smoothly, fairly and securely. KBA/HES