Saturday, July 10, 2010

ADR Must Be Used As An Alternative To Litigation

Law Minister Veerappa Moily has recently announced the National Litigation Policy of India. It has many great reforms and if implemented in a timely and appropriate manner would go a long way in reducing the backlog of cases in India.

However, the policy is deficient in one crucial aspect. It failed to utilise the benefits of information and communication technology (ICT) for reducing the backlog of cases in India. Two most prominent use of ICT for reducing the arrears of cases in India are the use of e-courts in India and adoption of online dispute resolution (ODR) in India.

Till India is not ready for the use of ICT for legal and judicial purposes, we must concentrate upon using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods like arbitration, mediation, etc.

Adoption of use of ICT for legal and judicial purposes would not only reduce the arrears of cases but would also bring ADR business to India. India can become a hub for ADR and ODR services provided we must change the legal system and law in this regard.

There is an emergent need of amending the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 as soon as possible so that international commercial disputes can be resolved through international commercial arbitration in India.

The amendment procedure is already in the process and it would be a good idea if provisions regarding e-courts and ODR are also incorporated in the same.