Document Production Under the Asian Civil Law System - Chapter 10 - Asian Leading Arbitrators' Guide to International Arbitration
Seung Wha Chang is a Professor of Law at Seoul National University. He also has taught international trade law and international dispute settlement (international arbitration) at leading U.S. law schools including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Duke, Georgetown and UCLA. Prof. Chang has regularly served as a chairman or a co-arbitrator for international arbitration under diverse jurisdictions including ICC, LCIA, JCAA and KCAB. He also was a panelist for seven WTO dispute settlement proceedings. Prof. Chang is President of the Korean Council for International Arbitration (KOCIA) and a Senior Advisor to the KCAB.
Originally from Asian Leading Arbitrators' Guide to International Arbitration
In common law jurisdictions, the term ‘discovery’ refers to the process of disclosure and inspection of documents from the other party. To civil lawyers, it means the process of document production.1 Discovery or document production has been regarded as a good example of how civil law and common law differs in respect to civil court proceedings. Many commentators have highlighted the major differences between common law discovery and civil law document production. It is generally observed that the common law approach to discovery allows wider scope of taking evidence from the opposing party, whereas the civil law document production is comparatively limited in its scope.2 Discovery in U.S.court proceedings, in particular, are generally regarded as the most extensive in scope.3 This general observation on the difference in common and civil law court proceedings also applies to different approaches used in the context of international arbitration.4
Notwithstanding the dichotomy of civil law and common law in document production procedures, international arbitration specialists generally agree that the best practices for document production in international arbitration should take a good balance between the civil law approach and the common law approach. The International Bar Association Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International commercial Arbitration (“IBA Rules”) is often said to make such a balance.5 Recently, the ICC International Court of Arbitration published a very useful book entitled, Document Production in International Arbitration.6 Most of chapter contributors, who are all leading international arbitration practitioners, generally support the IBA Rules as a well balanced approach to document production.