P.O.Box 2908 Damascus – Syria (+) 963 11 33 44 391/2 info@icc-syria.com


P.O.Box 2908 Damascus – Syria

Phone no.

(+) 963 11 33 44 391/2

E-mail Address


Lawyer Mr. Hussein Khaddour Op-ed  – Khaddour Law Office – ICC Syria Treasurer

Lawyer Mr. Hussein Khaddour Op-ed – Khaddour Law Office – ICC Syria Treasurer

Artificial Intelligence and International Arbitration

The concept of Artificial Intelligence entails the design and construction of programmed systems capable of replacing human thought processes. It has become an increasingly integral part of various aspects of life, including the legal profession, particularly in the field of dispute resolution.

International arbitration often requires familiarity with international laws and multiple local legal systems at the same time. Moreover, parties submit electronic documents and voluminous records to the tribunals. Additionally, the regulations governing international arbitration are diverse and extensive, compelling lawyers and arbitrators to dedicate countless hours to research and document review. This prompts the search for alternative solutions to achieve the required speed and efficiency in arbitration, which are, of course, the primary goals of international arbitration.

Could artificial intelligence replace arbitrators in civil and commercial disputes, resulting in an arbitral award issued by a 'Smart Arbitration Body' or an 'Intelligent Arbitrator'? Does the advancement of machines and programs in the realm of legal technology pave the way for achieving arbitration without arbitrators?

There is a perspective that envisions the future of artificial intelligence as characterized by speed, transparency, impartiality, and cost-effectiveness. It provides access to vast amounts of data securely within moments, ensuring the objectivity of the final arbitral award, given the absence of bias toward any party and protection against human errors or deficiencies. These are the foremost expectations and aspirations of parties involved in arbitration, seeking a binding and flawless verdict.

On the contrary, another perspective views humans as central to the dispute resolution process due to their qualities and skills that machines lack. These human qualities include legal adaptation of the case, assessing the weight and importance of evidence, social intelligence, and cumulative experience. Such attributes contribute to the balanced and comprehensive approach necessary for rendering a fair arbitration award.

Likely, the 'intelligent machine' cannot fully substitute for human involvement. Instead, it might serve as a supporting element in certain phases of the legal process, such as data analysis, information provision, and statistical analysis, complementing the role of human arbitrators who remain pivotal in the judicial and arbitral systems.

It is worth mentioning that the law, in general, is lagging behind rapid technological developments. Hence, applying existing laws to artificial intelligence can be challenging. Legislative updates are necessary to ensure compatibility and equitable use of artificial intelligence, upholding justice and equality.

Another concern lies in people's potential hesitation to fully trust a computer-generated decision, even one based on clear logic. There may be a higher tendency to question and challenge a decision made by a machine, compared to one made by a human, as technical glitches are an inherent possibility.

However, an opposing viewpoint suggests that with the increasing prevalence of artificial intelligence in our daily lives, such as self-driving cars, a time will come when we will fully accept algorithmic judgments to resolve disputes on our behalf.

The international arbitration community continues to enhance its services through the implementation of new information technologies (video conferences, electronic disclosures, online platforms, cloud-based technologies, etc.). Nevertheless, these steps, along with others, represent gradual improvements, well-established and successfully employed by many arbitration practitioners and institutions.

The path ahead remains uncertain, but one thing is certain: in the near future, parties will likely be asked whether they prefer to obtain a (human) arbitral award in several months or from (artificial intelligence) within days.