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Slizhevsky: Expert's position in arbitration court influences trial outcome

Society 21.09.2018 | 14:21
Oleg Slizhevsky. An archive photo
Oleg Slizhevsky. An archive photo

MINSK, 21 September (BelTA) – The position of an expert largely determines the outcome of an arbitration process, Belarus' Justice Minister Oleg Slizhevsky said at the opening of the Eastern European Dispute Resolution Forum (EEDRF) in Minsk. The event is dedicated to the role of experts and expertise in arbitration proceedings, BelTA has learned.

"Considering the competitive nature of international arbitration, it is important that each of the parties provides the evidence to support their arguments, submit evidence timely and in full, including the expert's findings. The outcome of the dispute largely depends on the expert's opinion," Oleg Slizhevsky said.

According to the minister, the legal community has been discussing the topic of appointing experts for a long time. One of the thorny issues is an expert's impartiality. Most arbitration institutions define an expert as a witness with special knowledge. An expert must be a professional, a recognized specialist with an impeccable reputation and ability to state the position clearly and convincingly.

For the state any procedural action in international arbitration is of key importance. The choice of an expert is no exception, added Oleg Slizhevsky. “This is due to the main role of the state in protecting the interests of its citizens and organizations, as well as its own sovereignty. It is always a matter of image, which is key to protecting economic interests,” he said.

Belarus is taking first steps in arbitration. The ongoing international forum is very important, including for the Belarusian legal community, because we can learn from the experience of the world's major companies and their professionals, Oleg Slizhevsky said. This is the third time that the Belarusian capital has hosted this forum. According to the minister, it is symbolic because Minsk is a place where international conflicts are resolved and where the judicial body of the Eurasian Economic Union is headquartered.

EEDRF is an annual open international event to discuss commercial disputes in arbitration and state courts. Investment arbitration proceedings is a very important and relevant topic. Experts believe that a greater use of international arbitration and profound knowledge of how it works will not only help make and implement fair decisions concerning foreign trade contracts but also increase the investment appeal of individual companies and countries. The forum will see presentations of studies to show why western businessmen prefer to resolve disputes by arbitration rather than in courts and how this influences the investment appeal.

The forum will be dedicated to the role of experts and expertise in arbitration proceedings.

Among the speakers will be over 30 highly skilled experts from Austria, Czechia, the USA, England, France, Russia, Finland, Lithuania, Ukraine and other countries. Minsk will bring together more than 150 world's leading lawyers. Among them are representatives of the international law firms, corporate lawyers, experts in litigation and arbitration from the Baltic states, the CIS countries, Europe and the USA. Heads of major European arbitration centers have already confirmed their participation. Belarus will be represented by representatives of the key government bodies and agencies, major enterprises and also leading law firms and bureaus.

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