Many international arbitrations are conducted in reliance on all or a portion of the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration. First promulgated in 1983 and amended in 1999 and again in 2010, this text, although not comprising rules in the ordinary sense of the word, has become a widely accepted foundation for the procedures by which evidence is gathered and presented. Recently, however, there has emerged a challenge to the IBA Rules based on the perception that they have failed to respond to the increased complexity and costs of international arbitration.

Such complexity as exists can be understood as the logical outgrowth of the increased use of international arbitration, particularly for disputes involving large amounts of money where the parties are unwilling to entrust resolution of their cases to national courts. In addition, there has been growth in the number of international investment disputes, which are heard only in arbitration and in which significant amounts of money are often at stake.

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