Advocacy and Cross-Examination - Chapter 12 - Asian Leading Arbitrators' Guide to International Arbitration
Colin Ong is a Managing Partner of Dr. Colin Ong Legal Services in Brunei Darussalam; Panel Member of the ASEAN Protocol on Enhanced Dispute Settlement Mechanism; Former Principal Legal-Consultant, ASEAN Centre-for-Energy; President of Arbitration Association Brunei Darussalam. He is a Council member of LCIA(Asia-Pacific Users’ Committee) and arbitrator and barrister at Essex Court Chambers and 3 Verulam Buildings. Dr Ong is a Chartered Arbitrator; FAMINZ(Arb); FCIArb; FMIArb; FSIArb; DiplCArb.. He holds appointments as Adjunct Professor at various institutions including Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; National University of Singapore; University of London.
Originally from Asian Leading Arbitrators' Guide to International Arbitration
I. THE ART OF THE ADVOCATE IN INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION
It is often said that that advocacy is more of an art than a science.1 Although advocacy in the context of international arbitration can come in either the oral form or the written form, the oral advocacy skills of a good arbitration counsel are vitally essential in aiding the counsel’s client to put across the best case possible to the tribunal. This is arguably more important in international arbitration than even in court litigation as contemporary commercial arbitrators are generally provided with few procedural guidelines as to the manner in which the oral hearing is to be conducted. The conventional reasoning that is often offered to support such a lack of rigid rules is generally pinned on the belief that the arbitration process itself can only continue to remain a relatively straightforward and expeditious form of dispute resolution if the procedural rules governing the arbitration process itself are kept to a bare minimum.
An experienced and successful arbitrator and arbitration practitioner can come to a general conclusion that it is usually not impeccable knowledge of the law or legal skills but rather skilful advocacy that has carried many successes in arbitration. As has been aptly stated by an eminent English advocate,2 “The qualities essential to the successful practice of the art of advocacy cannot be acquired like pieces of furniture.