On June 16, 2021, the Russian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce – the World Business Organization (ICC Russia) and EPAM will host a unique workshop “The Role of Witness Evidence in International Arbitration: What We Trust in?”. EPAM Litigation attorneys, Partner Valery Eremenko and Counsel Tatyana Neveeva, will speak at the workshop.
Speaking for the first time ever in Russia, Dr Kimberley A. Wade, professor of psychology at the University of Warwick and world-renowned cognitive psychologist, will be the featured speaker at a co-hosted ICC Russia and Epam workshop. At the workshop, Dr Wade will discuss the results of the latest research into human memory and the effects of post-event information on eyewitness testimony. Dr Wade is a British psychologist and scholar who has co-authored numerous studies on human memory.
Moreover, the workshop is to present the Russian version of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR report “The Accuracy of Fact Witness Memory in International Arbitration”, which was co-authored by Dr Wade and co-translated by Tatyana Neveeva.
Trust is the key factor in the assessment of the role and value of witness testimony in international arbitration and different legal cultures have dealt with this issue differently. Civil law jurisdictions, for instance, are incline to place less focus on witness testimony and more focus on documentary evidence. Some civil law jurisdictions are so skeptical regarding the value of witnesses who are employed by a party to the proceedings, that evidence from such witnesses is not admissible at all. In contrast, common law jurisdictions have placed significant weight on witness testimony and it is from those jurisdictions that the traditions of narrative witness statements and the cross-examination of witnesses have emerged.
At the workshop, the following questions will be addressed:
- Which “witness testimony” point of view dominates the legal world today?
- Should one implicitly trust witness testimony or rather disregard it as post-event information affects human memory and often results in distorted or even fabricated memories?
- How to manage the risks of giving witness testimony?
- How to specifically differentiate between inaccuracies or distortions arising as a result of the imperfect memory process from a witness’ or even deliberate efforts to distort or color the truth?