Global arbitration meet to foster better dispute resolution mechanism
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New Delhi: The National Initiative on Strengthening Arbitration in India kicks off on Friday.
Over the course of three days, issues around developing a better arbitration regime in and around India will be discussed by stakeholders including the judiciary, the executive, arbitration experts and companies who use this means to resolve dispute.
This three-day conference is being organized by NITI Aayog, the law ministry, the department for industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), the National Legal Services Authority, and the International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution.
The initiative adds to the government’s push for arbitration, including the amendments introduced last year.
Here’s what to watch out for:
The inaugural session on Friday will see president Pranab Mukherjee, Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and Alexis Mourre, president, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) deliver their addresses to open the floor for various panel discussions on Saturday and Sunday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be chief guest for the valedictory session on Sunday and his hour-long speech will be closely watched.
What are they discussing:
There are seven panel discussions scheduled to take place over Saturday and Sunday. These relate to almost all aspects of arbitration, including developing an autonomous arbitration institute, judicial intervention in different stages of arbitration and the future of international arbitration.
The role of the judiciary, especially, to not intervene in arbitrations is a recurring theme. Indian courts have often been criticized for excessive intervention. This however, has changed in the last few years with the judiciary consciously refusing to intervene at the beginning of the alternate dispute resolution process.
The government-backed initiative will also see key members from the international legal community participate in this conference.
In particular, a panel on Sunday will see judges of eight countries—India, France, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and state of Hawaii (US)—discuss the future of international arbitration.
That aside, on Saturday, members from the London Court of International Arbitration, the ICC and foreign law firms will participate in discussions.
What to expect?
What remains to be seen are the decisions made based on these discussions. At a recent conference on international arbitration in Brics, Jaitley had proposed setting up of task forces for arbitral centres in these five countries. Similar proposals could be expected.