Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Emerging Trends in The International Commercial Arbitration

India can become a global hub for international commercial dispute resolution (ICDR) services. All we need is a conducive environment for the same. ICDR services can be provided 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 fast expanding as the world is moving away from the traditional litigation system.

The traditional litigation methods of dispute resolution are not appropriate for commercial disputes. This has necessitated the requirement for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms like Arbitration, Mediation, Conciliation, etc.

Law Minister Veerappa Moily has recently suggested that India could become arbitration hub like Singapore. However, he needs to take care of some very crucial lacuna that can prevent India from becoming a global arbitration hub.

Firstly, the ADR system of India needs reforms as it is in a really bad shape. Secondly, the arbitration infrastructure in India needs to be established. Thirdly, contemporary dispute resolution methods like online dispute resolution (ODR) and e-courts are missing in India. Even the national litigation policy of India (NLPI) failed to consider ODR and e-courts as effective methods of out of court dispute resolution.

International organisations like United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), etc are working in the direction of upgrading ADR related mechanisms. India must also keep in mind these developments and make good efforts to harmonise its laws and practices as per the contemporary international ADR standards.

Law Minister Veerappa Moily must immediately act to remove various hurdles that are impeding India from becoming a global ADR and ODR hub. Till now the pace of judicial and legal reforms is very slow and highly unproductive.