Dealing With Experts: A Case Study of A Global Evidentiary Practice

Luis Bergolla

This project focuses on the role of experts witnesses in international arbitration cases administered under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)—the world’s preeminent international arbitration institution.  In recent years, international arbitration has been criticized for defaulting on its promise to deliver a dispute resolution mechanism that is cost and time efficient. My research is bound to assess the utility of expert witnesses in international arbitration and whether the employment of experts is among the causes that undermine the efficiency paradigm of arbitration. Through observations of real-life international arbitration case files, I describe the ways in which arbitrators interact with the experts’ specialized testimony. Using survey experiments, I empirically assess the effect that partisan bias has on expert testimony and how biased testimony affects the outcome of arbitral awards. Hosted at the ICC Paris Headquarters, this study is afforded a unique opportunity to evaluate the prevalence and impact of international non-binding instruments and bias mitigation devices that have been designed to guide the ethical aspects of the professional practice of experts and other arbitration stakeholders.


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