Saturday, March 13, 2010

Perry4Law Launched Online Dispute Resolution Centre In India

Online dispute resolution (ODR) in India is in its infancy stage and it is gaining prominence day by day. With the enactment of Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act 2000) in India, e-commerce and e-governance have been given a formal and legal recognition. Even the traditional arbitration law of India has been reformulated and now India has Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 in place that is satisfying the harmonised standards of UNCITRAL Model. Even the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 has been amended and section 89 has been introduced to provide methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in India.

However, India is clinging to its traditional core and is shying away from trying new experiments. India is not using information and communication technology (ICT) for dispute resolution whether it pertains to traditional litigation in courts in the form of e-courts or contemporary out of court dispute resolution in the form of online dispute resolution. Fortunately, the first ever Techno-Legal Online Dispute Resolution Centre of India has been launched by Perry4Law that would cater the dispute resolution, training, educational and many more such crucial requirements in India.

There is a lack of training among police, lawyers, judges, etc regarding use of information and communication technology (ICT) for legal, judicial and ADR /ODR purposes. Judges in India need cyber law training, e-courts training, ADR/ODR training, etc that allow them to effectively understand and use ICT for judicial and ADR/ODR purposes.

ODR has many benefits but it has failed to arouse interest of Indians. The present centre has been established at the right moment when backlog of cases has overburdened Indian courts too much. It is high time that the courts in India must also encourage out of court settlements whether through ADR or ODR. The best situation would be when the parties to the disputes actively use ADR/ODR for resolving their disputes.