In an overwhelming majority of cases, the arbitral procedure begins with an exchange of written submissions. Written pleadings are often given primary emphasis throughout the proceedings, with a relatively short oral hearing or even no hearing at all. Even when a more comprehensive hearing is envisaged, efficient arbitral proceedings require that the issues be specifically determined by the parties in writing, prior to the hearing, to sufficiently delineate their scope. Thus, written pleadings are a very important part of virtually all arbitrations. Written pleadings are regulated in Articles 18, 19, 20, 22 and 23 of the UNCITRAL Rules. The present chapter addresses Articles 18 and 19, while the other articles are dealt with in Chapters 13 (chapter 13) and 14 (chapter 14).
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