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Herbert Smith Freehills-SMU Asian Arbitration Lecture 2021 - Witnesses and Webcams: The Psychology of Witness Evidence in a Virtual World
Despite its widespread adoption during the pandemic, remote testimony remains a contentious topic. The online environment changes our perception of a witness and skullduggery on the virtual stand is a serious concern. Given that virtual hearings are likely to continue to be used for the foreseeable future, how can we best handle witness evidence in such a setting?

In her lecture, Dr Ula Cartwright-Finch will look at the psychology behind these critical issues and the intelligent adjustments science suggests to international arbitration practice and procedure. It will discuss:

• how virtual presentation influences our assessment of witness credibility, bringing together judicial commentary in international case law with psychological research on lie detection;

• what happens to witness behaviour when we swap the stand for the sofa, considering the way our physical environment shapes our thoughts and behaviour;

• whether witnesses are more likely to cheat when giving evidence virtually, bearing in mind the situational and social factors that affect unethical behaviour.

The lecture will seek to draw out some lessons and propose steps that counsel and arbitrators (and even judges) can do to address these risks in order to maintain the integrity of virtual evidentiary hearings.

The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Mr Alastair Henderson (Managing Partner, Southeast Asia, Herbert Smith Freehills), who will be joined by Dr Cartwright-Finch, Mr Cavinder Bull, SC (Vice-President, SIAC Court of Arbitration; CEO, Drew & Napier LLC) and Associate Dean Dorcas Quek Anderson (SMU) to discuss the issues raised in the lecture and answer questions from the audience.

Nov 23, 2021 05:00 PM in Singapore

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