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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

How the arbitration sector will flourish with the launch of the Arbitration Bar of India 

The pending cases in India have reached over 5 crores, underscoring the prevailing challenges in the judicial system. The high volume of cases leads to extended resolution times. Even with the introduction of reformative measures such as setting up fast-track courts, digitally connecting courtrooms, and substantially increasing the working strength of the judiciary, it still takes years to obtain a verdict.

Considering this intricate scenario, arbitration proves to be a faster and more efficient way of resolving disputes. The recent launch of the Arbitration Bar of India has given the required impetus to its adoption to streamline dispute resolution processes efficiently. 

Sharing her thoughts on the recent development in the legal landscape, Ms Gunita Pahwa, Joint Managing Partner at S&A Law Offices said, “The Arbitration Bar, a unique platform, will fortify the arbitration mechanism in India. It will not only address the concerns of arbitrators, parties, and practitioners but also propose policy and legislative changes, bolster practice rules, and strengthen Indian arbitral institutions. The establishment of the Arbitration Bar of India is a testament to India’s commitment to advancing dispute resolution practices and procedures.” 

She further said that being the fifth-largest economy in the world, India has also become a magnet for investors from all over the world. In the coming years, significant investments will flourish in India, making it crucial to protect these investors through speedy mechanisms for dispute resolution.

Ms Pahwa added, “Arbitration is an internationally accepted and trusted dispute resolution mechanism, and India, having realised its benefits, has already become a pro-arbitration and enforcement destination. India is on its way to becoming a global arbitration hub and has taken various pro-arbitration and enforcement measures, including strengthening its arbitration laws.” 

Resonating similar sentiments, Mr Yogendra Aldak, Partner at Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan Attorneys said, “The recently inaugurated, Arbitration Bar of India (ABI), being a professional association dedicated only to the advancement of ADR mechanisms in India, has not only allowed the stakeholders to be at the foreground of development of ADR but have now thrusted them at a catbird seat.” 

Emphasizing the benefits of ABI, Mr. Aldak said that considering the complex economic landscape of the country, arbitration and other ADR mechanisms, which offer speedy resolution without compromising confidentiality, have become the first choice for dispute resolution. Moreover, party autonomy over the procedures makes this choice more attractive due to the absence of technicalities that burden traditional litigation.

However, he also pointed out the existing challenges that must be resolved to become a global arbitration centre. He said, Although, India has the required infrastructure and capability for becoming a global arbitration hub, lack of a credible, stable and established national institution for arbitration such as SIAC or LCIA is a major issue. Such institutions provide mandatory control over fees and timelines for arbitral tribunals. Moreover, securing an impartial and independent arbitrator, consolidation of proceedings, etc. are other considerations which would go a long way in achieving this goal.”

With the introduction of the ABI, India is striving to become the preferred choice in the arbitration landscape across the world. This move reflects the shift in how arbitration is perceived and practised in the country, as well as the pivotal role arbitration will play in resolving disputes in future. 

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