Most international commercial arbitrations avoid U.S.-style discovery. Depositions are rare and document discovery generally is limited by comparison to domestic arbitration proceedings.

Typically, parties produce documents they believe will support their claims or defenses. Document requests must be supported by a showing of need, together with a narrow description of the document and a statement that it is actually in the possession of the other party. In ruling on the scope of compelled document production, arbitrators are expected to balance the likely benefits of production against cost, delay, and the burden to the party who must produce.