Limited success in institutional arbitration
The Chief Justice of India has called for concerted support from all stakeholders, in particular members of the legal profession for institutional arbitration to expand its footprint in the country.
“A robust arbitration bar is critical to the development of institutional arbitration in India as it would ensure availability and accessibility of practitioners with knowledge and experience in the field of arbitration,” said Justice Bobde.
Speaking at the ICA’s ‘3rd International Conference on Arbitration In The Era of Globalization’, Justice Bobde said that institutional arbitration has met with limited success in India.
It is a well-known fact that Indian parties still show a strong preference for ad hoc over institutional arbitration, lamented Sharad Arvind Bobde, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of India.
He added that with the sheer diversity and quantum of matters being submitted to arbitration, presence of a specialist arbitration bar with members who have not migrated from the general bar, who are working in close coordination with competent arbitral institutions is imperative.
While emphasizing on adopting the Artificial Intelligence, Justice Bobde said, “As we conceptualize international arbitration in a globalized era, we must also be cognizant of the synergistic opportunities available for international arbitration through utilization of disruptive technologies.”
“Pre-litigation mediation is critical to resolve disputes and reduce the stress on courts and the judicial system. We must structure courses and programmes to certify professionals in mediation,” he said at the FICCI organized conference on 8 Feb 2020.
Justice Bobde added, “Over the last decade or so, a catena of decisions and host of amendments, including fast track arbitration and establishment of specialized commercial courts, have attempted to transform India into a robust centre for international and domestic arbitration.”
“Arbitration should be made more effective by minimizing Court intervention in the arbitral awards. Certain steps have already been taken through the interpretation of the Act by the Apex Court but more needs to be done,” said FICCI President Dr Sangita Reddy.
“The courts should prioritize disposal of arbitral related cases through the commercial courts in a speedy manner so that the industry and foreign investors have faith in the arbitration process which includes the post arbitration proceedings before the courts,” stressed Dr Reddy.
“It is time for both the legislation and the judiciary and the legal fraternity to support and promote arbitration,” added N G Khaitan, President, ICA & Senior Partner, Khaitan & Co.
Geeta Luthra, Senior Advocate & Vice President, ICA, underlined the need to ensure that arbitration becomes a more realistic alternate dispute resolution mechanism. fiinews.com