Oliver Loksa, KNOETZL Counsel, addresses the Eastern European Dispute Resolution Forum in Minsk on the use of illegally-obtained evidence in criminal, and ancillary civil proceedings

On 22 September 2017, the second annual Eastern European Dispute Resolution Forum was held in Minsk, Belarus. The organizing partner of the forum was SBH Law Office. Entitled: “Prove it if you can!”, this year’s conference gave participants the chance to explore the nuanced, jurisdictionally diverse, and critical subject of the taking of evidence.

KNOETZL Counsel, Oliver Loksa was invited to be part of a panel additionally consisting of Artem Doudko (White & Case, London) as moderator, Agis Georgiades (Christos Georgiades & Associates LLC, Nicosia), Stepan Guzey (Lidings Law Firm, Moscow), Johannes Koepp (Baker Botts, London), Joe Tirado (Garrigues UK LLP, London), Nata Ghibradze (Hogan Lovells, Munich) and Steven Finizo (WilmerHale, London) as speakers. The panel focused on differences and similarities among disparate jurisdictions of the East and West.

Holding a presentation on the civil law countries’ approach towards (in)admissibility of illegally obtained evidence, Oliver also touched upon one highly relevant aspect in particular: the question of admissibility of evidence in litigation, obtained, even if illegally, in (white collar) crime proceedings. The issue of how far the taint of unlawfully-obtained evidence, or what is referred to in some jurisdictions as “the fruit of the poisonous tree”, was explored.  Highlighting case-law of Austrian and German courts, Oliver demonstrated that such interplay between criminal proceedings and litigation is not a merely academic discussion, but one of the most fascinating and important challenges faced by counsel active in dispute resolution. Meeting such challenges requires more than just a profound knowledge of the law. Strategic thinking and timing regarding the best use and exclusion of such evidence has become fundamental.

For more information please contact Oliver Loksa or your customary KNOETZL relationship professional at our firm.