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Linguistic dispute: Perversion of online arbitration concept in Ukraine

There is no specific regulation allowing or prohibiting online arbitration in Ukraine at the time. Actually there is no Ukrainian practice of online arbitration. However, I have already heard “well grounded” opinions of specialists in arbitration concerning online ADR and its future in Ukraine. Those opinions seemed interesting to me because (1) they are based on subjective understanding of the term “online arbitration” and (2) for the mentioned reason they jeopardize the idea of online arbitration. Let me explain. The term “online arbitration” is often replaced with the terms “e-arbitration” and “virtual arbitration” which have almost synonymous meaning. In the Ukrainian language the word “online” and prefix “e-“ are rather foreign substance. Thus, “virtual arbitration” remains. However, for Ukrainian legal brains virtual is something fake. Moreover, during several years (2005-2009) local arbitration courts were often misused. Many times they were used as an instrument of legitimization of title to real estate. Taking into account that usually there was no dispute in such real estate cases the proceedings were “virtual”: no evidences presented, no hearings took place.
Thank heaven that the experts supported by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) developed the concept of electronic arbitration. This is what may be implemented in the Ukrainian legal practice though it may take years.

(c) by International arbitration blog

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