Sunday, July 25, 2010

International Commercial Arbitration In India And Commercial Transactions

Information and communication technology (ICT) has given a new meaning to international commercial transactions and business. E-commerce has now become an indispensable part of our day to day commercial activities. This has also given rise to both traditional as well as contemporary international commercial disputes all over the world. So much so that the Law Minister Veerappa Moily has said that a commercial court would be set up in each high court and all cases with an investment exceeding a certain sum will be tried in the commercial court.

At the same time alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism in India is also under the process of rejuvenation. Though online dispute resolution (ODR) and e-courts in India are still a distant dream yet the procedure of bringing suitable amendments in the existing arbitration law of India is in pipeline.

Thus scope of International Commercial Dispute Resolution (ICDR) Services in India is increasing day by day. ICDR can be availed of for disputes arising out of contracts on sales of goods, distributorship, agency and intermediary contracts, construction, engineering and infrastructure contracts, intellectual property contracts, domain name dispute resolutions, joint venture agreements, maritime contracts, employment contracts, etc. The list is just illustrative as the business transactions are too many to categorised here.

The traditional litigation methods of dispute resolution are not very helpful for such high staked commercial disputes. This has necessitated the requirement for ADR mechanisms like Arbitration, Mediation, Conciliation, etc.

India has tremendous capabilities for both ADR and ODR. However, India is lacking on the front of a good law in this regard. The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 has proved more to be a burden than a relief. There is an emergent need of reformulating Indian laws in this regard.