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Alternative Dispute Resolution in India
A study on concepts, techniques, provisions, problems in
implementation and solutions
Submitted to: Lok Satta
Student, Ist year, IInd semester
NALSAR University of Law
Table of Contents
Study of ADR institutions across the world
Reasons behind introduction of ADR in India
The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996
Lok Adalats as a unique ADR measure in India
I am highly grateful to Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan for giving interns an opportunity to work in a
public-oriented organization like Lok Satta. The experience gained at Lok Satta in researching on
a topic relevant to the present times has helped me in enriching my knowledge base. I thank Mr.
Sanjay, Ms. Shobana and Ms. Fatima who have given me all the necessary support and
encouragement to do this project.
Gandhiji said: "I had learnt the true practice of law. I had learnt to find out the better side of
human nature, and to enter men's hearts. I realized that the true function of a lawyer was to unite
parties given as under. The lesson was so indelibly burnt unto me that the large part of my time,
during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer, was occupied in bringing about private
compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing, thereby not even money, certainly not my
Conflict is a fact of life. It is not good or bad. However, what is important is how we manage or
handle it. Negotiation techniques are often central to resolving conflict and as a basic technique
these have been around for many thousands of years. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
refers to a variety of streamlined resolution techniques designed to resolve issues in controversy
more efficiently when the normal negotiation process fails. Alternative Dispute Resolution
(ADR) is an alternative to the Formal Legal System. It is an alternative to litigation. It was being
thought of in view of the fact that the Courts are over burdened with cases. The said system
emanates from dissatisfaction of many people with the way in which disputes are traditionally
resolved resulting in criticism of the Courts, the legal profession and sometimes lead to a sense
of alienation from the whole legal system- thus, the need for Alternative Dispute Resolution.
With the spread of ADR programs in the developed and developing world, creative uses for and
designs for ADR systems are proliferating. Successful programs are improving the lives of
individuals and meeting broad societal goals. There is a critical mass of ADR experience,
revealing important lessons as to whether, when and how to implement ADR projects.
It is against this backdrop, that this research paper intends to discuss the various ADR
mechanisms, the provisions present in India and the World over, and its peculiarity,
implementation and problems in the Indian context. The various remedies to the situation have
also been discussed.
The research methodology adopted for the purpose of this project is the doctrinal method of
research. The various library and Internet facilities available at Lok Satta and NALSAR
University of Law have been utilized for this purpose. Most of the information is, however, from
Brief History of ADR
ADR originated in the USA in a drive to find alternatives to the traditional legal system, felt to
be adversarial, costly, unpredictable, rigid, over-professionalised, damaging to relationships, and
limited to narrow rights-based remedies as opposed to creative problem solving. The American
origins of the concept are not surprising, given certain features of litigation in that system, such
as: trials of civil actions by a jury, lawyers' contingency fees, lack of application in full of the
rule "the loser pays the costs
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, creative efforts to develop the use of arbitration and
mediation emerged in response to the disruptive conflicts between labor and management. In
1898, Congress followed initiatives that began a few years earlier in Massachusetts and New
York and authorized mediation for collective bargaining disputes. In the ensuing years, special
mediation agencies, such as the Board of Mediation and Conciliation for railway labor, (1913)
(renamed the National Mediation Board in 1943), and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation
Service (1947) were formed and funded to carry out the mediation of collective bargaining
disputes. Additional state labor mediation services followed. The 1913 New lands Act and later
legislation reflected the belief that stable industrial peace could be achieved through the
settlement of collective bargaining disputes; settlement in turn could be advanced through
conciliation, mediation, and voluntary arbitration.2
At about the same time, and for different reasons, varied forms of mediation for non-labor
matters were introduced in the courts. When a group of lawyers and jurists spoke on the topic to
an American Bar Association meeting in 1923, they were able to assess court-related conciliation
programs in Cleveland, Minneapolis, North Dakota, New York City, and Milwaukee.
Conciliation in a different form also appeared in domestic relations courts. An outgrowth of
concern about rising divorce rates in the postwar 1940's and the 1950's, the primary goal of these
programs was to reduce the number of divorces by requiring efforts at reconciliation rather than
to facilitate the achievement of divorces through less adversarial proceedings. Following
privately funded mediation efforts by the American Arbitration Association and others in the late
1960s, the Community Relations Service (CRS) of the United States Department of Justice
initiated in 1972 a mediation program for civil rights disputes.
Although a small number of individual lawyers had been interested in and were practicing
mediation ADR in Britain for some years, it was only in 1989 when the first British based ADR
company - IDR Europe Ltd. - bought the idea across the Atlantic and opened its doors for
business. This was the start of ADR Group. Since then many other ADR organizations, including
CEDR (Centre for Dispute Resolution), followed suite and assisted in the development and
promotion of ADR in the UK.3
ADR, or mediation (as it is now synonymously known as), is used world-wide by Governments,
corporations and individuals to resolve disputes big or small, of virtually any nature and in most
countries of the world.
In developing countries where most people opt for litigation to resolve disputes, there is
excessive over-burdening of courts and a large number of pending cases, which has ultimately
lead to dissatisfaction among people regarding the judicial system and its ability to dispense
justice. This opinion is generated largely on the basis of the popular belief, "Justice delayed is
justice denied". However, the blame for the large number of pending cases in these developing
countries or docket explosion, as it is called, cannot be attributed to the Courts alone. The reason
for it being the non-implementation of negotiation processes before litigation. It is against this
backdrop that the mechanisms of Alternative Dispute Resolution are being introduced in these
countries. These mechanisms, which have been working effectively in providing an amicable and
speedy solution for conflicts in developed economies, are being suitably amended and
incorporated in the developing countries in order to strengthen the judicial system. Many
countries such as India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have adopted the Alternative Dispute
Resolution Mechanism. However, it is for time to see how effective the implementation of these
mechanisms would be in these countries.
Overview of ADR:
Alternative dispute resolution encompasses a range of means to resolve conflicts short of formal
litigation. The modern ADR movement originated in the United States in the 1970s, spurred by a
desire to avoid the cost, delay, and adversarial nature of litigation. For these and other reasons,
court reformers are seeking to foster its use in developing nations. The interest in ADR in some
countries also stems from a desire to revive and reform traditional mediation mechanisms.
ADR today falls into two broad categories: court-annexed options and community-based dispute
resolution mechanisms. Court-annexed ADR includes mediation/conciliation—the classic
method where a neutral third party assists disputants in reaching a mutually acceptable
solution—as well as variations of early neutral evaluation, a summary jury trial, a mini-trial, and
other techniques. Supporters argue that such methods decrease the cost and time of litigation,
improving access to justice and reducing court backlog, while at the same time preserving
important social relationships for disputants.4
Community-based ADR is often designed to be independent of a formal court system that may
be biased, expensive, distant, or otherwise inaccessible to a population. New initiatives
sometimes build on traditional models of popular justice that relied on elders, religious leaders,
or other community figures to help resolve conflict. India embraced lok adalat village-level
people's courts in the 1980s, where trained mediators sought to resolve common problems that in
an earlier period may have gone to the panchayat, a council of village or caste elders. Elsewhere
in the region, bilateral donors have recently supported village-based shalish mediation in
Bangladesh and nationally established mediation boards in Sri Lanka. In Latin America, there
has been a revival of interest in the juece de paz, a legal officer with the power to conciliate or
mediate small claims.
Some definitions of ADR also include commercial arbitration: private adversarial proceedings in
which a neutral third party issues a binding decision. Private arbitration services and centers have
an established role in the United States for commercial dispute resolution, and are spreading
internationally as business, and the demand for harmonization, expands. In the last decade, more
countries have passed legislation based on the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law on International
Commercial Arbitration, which makes an arbitral award legally binding and grants broad rights
to commercial parties choosing arbitration.
It is important to distinguish between binding and non-binding forms of ADR. Negotiation,
mediation and conciliation are non-binding forms, and depend on the willingness of parties to
reach a voluntary agreement. Arbitration programs may be binding or non-binding. Binding
Arbitration produces a third party decision that the disputants must follow even if they disagree
with the result much like a judicial decision. Non-binding Arbitration produces a third party
decision that the parties may reject.
It is also important to distinguish between mandatory processes and voluntary processes. Some
judicial systems require the parties to negotiate, conciliate, mediate or arbitrate, prior to court
action. ADR processes may also be required as part of prior contractual agreement between
parties. In voluntary processes, submission of a dispute to an ADR process depends entirely on
the will of the parties.
These forms of ADR along with a lot of other hybrid processes are discussed in the next chapter
of the paper. Therefore, it can observed that the term "Alternative dispute resolution" can refer to
everything from facilitated settlement negotiations in which disputants are encouraged to
negotiate directly with each other, prior to some other legal process, to arbitration systems or
mini-trials that look and feel very much like a courtroom process. Processes designed to manage
community tension or facilitate community development issues can also be included into the
Elaborate explanation of the various kinds of ADR mechanisms:
a) Arbitration: Arbitration, in the law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution —
specifically, a legal alternative to litigation whereby the parties to a dispute agree to submit their
respective positions (through agreement or hearing) to a neutral third party (the arbitrator(s) or
arbiter(s)) for resolution.5
Species of arbitration
Commercial arbitration:Agreements to arbitrate were not enforceable at common
law, though an arbitrator's judgment was usually enforceable (once the parties had
already submitted the case to him or her). During the Industrial Revolution, this
situation became intolerable for large corporations. They argued that too many
valuable business relationships were being destroyed through years of expensive
adversarial litigation, in courts whose strange rules differed significantly from the
informal norms and conventions of business people (the private law of commerce, or
). Arbitration appeared to be faster, less adversarial, and cheaper. Since
commercial arbitration is based upon either contract law or the law of treaties, the
agreement between the parties to submit their dispute to arbitration is a legally
binding contract. All arbitral decisions are considered to be "final and binding." This
does not, however, void the requirements of law. Any dispute not excluded from
arbitration by virtue of law (e.g. criminal proceedings) may be submitted to
Other forms of Contract Arbitration: Arbitration can be carried out between
private individuals, between states, or between states and private individuals. In the
case of arbitration between states, or between states and individuals, the Permanent
Court of Arbitration and the International Center for the Settlement of Investment
Disputes (ICSID) are the predominant organizations. Arbitration is also used as part
of the dispute settlement process under the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding.
International arbitral bodies for cases between private persons also exist, the
International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration being the most important.
The American Arbitration Association is a popular arbitral body in the United States.
Arbitration also exists in international sport through the Court of Arbitration for
Labor Arbitration: A growing trend among employers whose employees are not
represented by a labor union is to establish an organizational problem-solving
process, the final step of which consists of arbitration of the issue at point by an
independent arbitrator, to resolve employee complaints concerning application of
employer policies or claims of employee misconduct. Employers in the United States
have also embraced arbitration as an alternative to litigation of employees' statutory
claims, e.g., claims of discrimination, and common law claims, e.g., claims of
defamation. Arbitration has also been used as a means of resolving labor disputes for
more than a century. Labor organizations in the United States, such as the National
Labor Union, called for arbitration as early as 1866 as an alternative to strikes to
resolve disputes over the wages, benefits and other rights that workers would enjoy.
Governments have also relied on arbitration to resolve particularly large labor
disputes, such as the Coal Strike of 1902. This type of arbitration is commonly known
as interest arbitration, since it involves the mediation of the disputing parties'
demands, rather than the disposition of a claim in the manner a court would act.
Interest arbitration is still frequently used in the construction industry to resolve
collective bargaining disputes.Unions and employers have also employed arbitration
to resolve employee grievances arising under a collective bargaining agreement.7
Judicial Arbitration: Some state court systems have promulged court-ordered
arbitration; family law (particularly child custody) is the most prominent example.
Judicial arbitration is often merely advisory, serving as the first step toward
resolution, but not binding either side and allowing for trial de novo.
Proceedings: Various bodies of rules have been developed that can be used for
arbitration proceedings. The two of the most important are the UNCITRAL rules and
the ICSID rules. The general rules to be followed by the arbitrator are specified by the
agreement establishing the arbitration. Some jurisdictions have instituted a limited
grace period during which an arbitral decision may be appealed against, but after
which there can be no appeal. In the case of arbitration under international law, a
right of appeal does not in general exist, although one may be provided for by the
arbitration agreement, provided a court exists capable of hearing the appeal.
Arbitrators: Arbitrators are not bound by precedent and have great leeway in such
matters as active participation in the proceedings, accepting evidence, questioning
witnesses, and deciding appropriate remedies. Arbitrators may visit sites outside the
hearing room, call expert witnesses, seek out additional evidence, decide whether or
not the parties may be represented by legal counsel, and perform many other actions
not normally within the purview of a court. It is this great flexibility of action,
combined with costs usually far below those of traditional litigation, which makes
arbitration so attractive. Arbitrators have wide latitude in crafting remedies in the
arbitral decision, with the only real limitation being that they may not exceed the
limits of their authority in their award. An example of exceeding arbitral authority
might be awarding one party to a dispute the personal automobile of the other party
when the dispute concerns the specific performance of a business-related contract. It
is open to the parties to restrict the possible awards that the abitrator can make. If this
restriction requires a straight choice between the position of one party or the position
of the other, then it is known as pendulum arbitration
or final offer arbitration
. It is
designed to encourage the parties to moderate their initial positions so as to make it
more likely they receive a favourable decision. To ensure effective arbitration and to
increase the general credibility of the arbitral process, arbitrators will sometimes sit as
a panel, usually consisting of three arbitrators. Often the three consist of an expert in
the legal area within which the dispute falls (such as contract law in the case of a
dispute over the terms and conditions of a contract), an expert in the industry within
which the dispute falls (such as the construction industry, in the case of a dispute
between a homeowner and his general contractor), and an experienced arbitrator.
vii) Some important statistics : Use and effectiveness of Arbitration as a mechanism
of ADR: American case study (source: National Arbitration Forum, Washington)
Key Findings in the above survey:
78% of people find faster recovery in Arbitration
83% of people find Arbitration equally or more fair
59.3% of people find Arbitration less expensive
84.6% of people find ADR equally or more suitable for insurance/reinsurance sector8
This survey clearly shows the increase in the number of people over the years who
would opt for Arbitration over a lawsuit for the recovery of monetary damages.
Therefore, it is obvious that Arbitration is a growing field with a lot of potential in
solving disputes in a speedy manner.
b) Mediation: Mediation is a process of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third
party, the mediator, assists two or more parties in order to help them negotiate an agreement,
with concrete effects, on a matter of common interest; lato sensu is any activity in which an
agreement on whatever matter is researched by an impartial third party, usually a professional, in
the common interest of the parties. i) Types of Disputes resolved by mediation:9
Clinical & Medical Negligence Competition
Construction & Development
Engineering & Manufacturing Disputes
Insolvency and Bankruptcy
Insurance & Reinsurance
Intellectual Property, Trade Mark and Copyright
Landlord & Tenant
Leasing & Supply Contracts
Libel & Defamation
Maritime & Shipping
Oil & Gas Contracts
Property & Real Estate
Publishing, Television & Broadcasting Rights
Railway Industry, Transport
Securities & Shares
ii) Stages of Mediation10: Mediation commonly includes the following aspects or
• a controversy, dispute or difference of positions between people, or a need for decision-
making or problem-solving;
• decision-making remaining in the parties rather than being made by the neutral;
• the willingness of the parties to negotiate a positive solution to their problem and to
accept a discussion about respective interests and objectives;
• the intent to achieve a positive result through the facilitative help of an independent and
neutral third person.
The typical mediation has no formal compulsory elements, although some common
elements are usually found:
• Each party having a chance to tell his or her story;
• Identification of issues, usually by the mediator;
• The clarification and detailed specification of the respective interests and objectives,
• the conversion of respective subjective evaluations into more objective values,
• Identification of options;
• Discussion and analysis of the possible effects of various solutions;
• the adjustment and the refining of the accessory aspects,
• memorializing the agreements into a written draft
Due to the particular character of this activity, each mediator uses a method of his or her
own (a mediator's methods are not ordinarily governed by law), that might eventually be
very different from the above scheme. Also, many matters do not legally require a
particular form for the final agreement, while others expressly require a precisely
determined form. Most countries respect a Mediator's confidentiality. Mediation differs
the most from other adversarial resolution processes by virtue of its simplicity,
informality, flexibility and economy.
iii) Mediation in Business and Commerce: The eldest branch of mediation applies
to business and commerce, and still this one is the widest field of application, with
reference to the number of mediators in these activities and to the economical range of
total exchanged values. The mediator in business or in commerce helps the parties to
achieve the final goal of respectively buying/selling (a generical contreposition that
includes all the possible varieties of the exchange of goods or rights) something at
satisfactory conditions (typically in the aim of producing a synallagmatic contract),
harmonically bringing the separate elements of the treaty to a respectively balanced
equilibrium. The mediator, in the ordinary practice, usually cares of finding a positive
agreement between (or among) the parties looking at the main pact as well as at the
accessory pacts too, thus finding a composition of all the related aspects that might
combine in the best possible way all the desiderata of his clients. The subfields include
specialised branches that are very well commonly known: in finance, in insurances, in
ship-brokering, in real estate and in some other particular markets, mediators have an
own name and usually obey to special laws. Generally the mediator cannot practice
commerce in the genre of goods in which he is a specialised mediator.
iv) Global Relevance: The rise of international trade law, continental trading blocs,
the World Trade Organization and its opposing anti-globalization movement, use of the
internet, among other factors, seem to suggest that legal complexity is rising to an
intolerable and undesirable point. There may be no obvious way to determine which
jurisdiction has precedence over which other, and there may be substantial resistance to
settling a matter in any one place. Accordingly, mediation may come into more
widespread use, replacing formal legal and judicial processes sanctified by nation-states.
Some, like the anti-globalization movement, believe that such formal processes have
quite thoroughly failed to provide real safety and closure guarantees that are pre-requisite
to uniform rule of law. Following an increasing notoriety of the process, and a wider
notion of its main aspects and eventual effects, mediation is in recent times frequently
proposed as a form of resolution of international disputes, with attention to belligerent
c) Conciliation: Conciliation is an alternative dispute resolution process whereby the parties to
a dispute (including future interest disputes) agree to utilize the services of a conciliator, who
then meets with the parties separately in an attempt to resolve their differences. Conciliation
differs from arbitration in that the conciliation process, in and of itself, has no legal standing, and
the conciliator usually has no authority to seek evidence or call witnesses, usually writes no
decision, and makes no award. Conciliation differs from mediation in that the main goal is to
conciliate, most of the time by seeking concessions. In mediation, the mediator tries to guide the
discussion in a way that optimizes parties needs, takes feelings into account and reframes
representations. In conciliation the parties seldom, if ever, actually face each other across the
table in the presence of the conciliator. (This latter difference can be regarded as one of species
to genus. Most practicing mediators refer to the practice of meeting with the parties separately as
"caucusing" and would regard conciliation as a specific type or form of mediation practice --
"shuttle diplomacy" -- that relies on exclusively on caucusing. All the other features of
conciliation are found in mediation as well.) If the conciliator is successful in negotiating an
understanding between the parties, said understanding is almost always committed to writing
(usually with the assistance of legal counsel) and signed by the parties, at which time it becomes
a legally binding contract and falls under contract law.11
A conciliator assists each of the parties to independently develop a list of all of their objectives
(the outcomes which they desire to obtain from the conciliation). The conciliator then has each of
the parties separately prioritize their own list from most to least important. She then goes back
and forth between the parties and encourages them to "give" on the objectives one at a time,
starting with the least important and working toward the most important for each party in turn.
The parties rarely place the same priorities on all objectives, and usually have some objectives
which are not on the list compiled by parties on the other side. Thus the conciliator can quickly
build a string of successes and help the parties create an atmosphere of trust which the conciliator
can continue to develop.
d)Expert Determination: Expert determination is a historically accepted form of dispute
resolution invoked when there isn't a formulated dispute in which the parties have defined
positions that need to be subjected to arbitration, but rather both parties are in agreement that
there is a need for an evaluation, e.g. in a preceding contract. The practise itself is millennia old
and well established where complex legal institutions either have not developed, or are
unavailable, such as tribal societies and criminal organisations.The first mention that
distinguishes specifically against the practise of arbitration, and introduces the formula "as an
expert and not as an arbitrator" was in Dean v. Prince 1953 Ch. 590 at 591 (misquoted) and
subsequently on appeal in the year 1954 1 Ch. 409 at 415.12
e) Negotiation: Negotiation is the process whereby interested parties resolve disputes, agree
upon courses of action, bargain for individual or collective advantage, and/or attempt to craft
outcomes which serve their mutual interests. It is usually regarded as a form of alternative
dispute resolution.Given this definition, one can see negotiation occurring in almost all walks of
life, from parenting to the courtroom.13
In the advocacy approach, a skilled negotiator usually serves as advocate for one party to the
negotiation and attempts to obtain the most favorable outcomes possible for that party. In this
process the negotiator attempts to determine the minimum outcome(s) the other party is (or
parties are) willing to accept, then adjusts her demands accordingly. A "successful" negotiation
in the advocacy approach is when the negotiator is able to obtain all or most of the outcomes his
party desires, but without driving the other party to permanently break off negotiations.
Traditional negotiating is sometimes called win-lose because of the hard-ball style of the
negotiators whose motive is to get as much as they can for their side. In the Seventies,
practitioners and researchers began to develop win-win approaches to negotiation. This approach,
12 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expert_determination 13 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/negotiation
referred to as Principled Negotiation, is also sometimes called mutual gains bargaining. The
mutual gains approach has been effectively applied in environmental situations as well as labor
relations where the parties (e.g. management and a labor union) frame the negotiation as problem
f) Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE): A court-based ADR process applied to civil cases, ENE
brings parties and their lawyers together early in the pre-trial phase to present summaries of their
cases and receive a non-binding asssesment by an experienced, neutral attorney with expertise in
the substance of the dispute, or by a magistrate judge. The evaluator may also provide case
planning guidance and settlement assistance in some courts. It is purely used as a settlement
device and resembles evaluative mediation.14
g) Fact-finding: A process by which a third party renders binding or advisory opinions
regarding facts relevant to a dispute. The third party neutral may be an expert on technical or
kegal questions, may be representatives designated by the parties to work together, or may be
appointed by the court.15
h) Med-Arb, or Mediation-Arbitration: An example of multi-step ADR, parties agree to
mediate their dispute with the understanding that any issues not settled by mediation will be
resolved, will be resolved by arbitration, using the same individual to act as both mediator and
arbitrator. Having the same individual acting in both roles, however may have a chilling effect
on the parties participating fully in mediation. In Co-Med-Arb, different individuals serve as
neutrals in the arbitration and mediation sessions, although they may both participate in the
parties' initial exchange of information. In Arb-Med, the neutral first acts as arbitrator, writig
up an award and placing it in a sealed envelope. The neutral then proceeds to the mediation
stage, and if the case is settled in mediation, the envelope is never opened.
14 http://www.spea.indiana.edu/icri/terms.htm#ENE 15 Ibid.
i)Judge hosted settlement conference: In this court-based ADR process, the settlement
judge (or magistrate) presides over a meeting of the parties in an effort to help them reach a
settlement. Judges have played a variety of roles in these conferences, articulating opinions about
the merits of the case, facilitating the trading of settlement offers, and sometimes acting as the
j)Minitrial: A voluntary process in which cases are heard by a panel of high level prinicipals
from the disputing sides with full settlement authority; a neutral may or may not oversee this
stage. First, parties have a summary hearing, each side presenting the essence of their case. Each
party can thereby learn the strengths and weaknesses of their own case, as well as that of other
parties. Secondly, the panel of party representatives attempts to resolve the dispute by
negotiation. The neutral presider may offer her opinion about the likely outcome in court.
k)Court based minitrial: A similar procedure as that of the above, generally reserved for
large disputes, in which a judge, a magistrate and a non-judicial neutral presides over one or two-
day hearing. If negotiations fail, the parties proceed to trial.
l)Regulatory Negotiation or Reg-Neg: Used by governmental agencies as an alternative to
the more traditional approach of issuing regulations after a lengthy notice and comment period.
Instead, "agency officials and affected private parties meet under the guidance of a neutral
facilitator to engage in joint negotiation and the drafting of the rule. The public is then asked to
comment on the resulting, proposed rule. By encouraging participation of interested
stakeholders, the process makes use of private parties' perspectives and expertise, and can help
avoid subsequent litigation over the resulting rule."
m)Ombudsperson: An informal dispute resolution tool used by organizations. A third party
ombudsperson is appointed by the organisation to investigate complaints within the institution
and prevent disputes or facilitate their resolution. The Ombudsperson may use various ADR
mechanisms in the process of resolving disputes.
n)Private Judging: A private or court-connected process in which the parties empower a
private individual to hear and issue a binding, principled decision in their case. The process may
be agreed upon by a contract between the parties, or authorized by statute.
o)Two-track approach: Used in conjunction with litigation, representatives of disputing
parties who are not involved in the litigation conduct settlement negotiations or engage in other
ADR processes. The ADR track may proceed concurrently with litigation or an agreed upon
hiatus in litigation.
Enumerated above are most of the ADR mechanisms that are practised in countries all over the
world against the backdrop of their different socio-economic-politico-cultural scenarios.
Study of ADR Institutions across the World
The various institutions and provisions governing the ADR mechanisms all over the world are
a) Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA): The Permanent Court of Arbitration
(PCA), also known as the Hague Tribunal is an international organization based in The
Hague in the Netherlands. It was established in 1899 as one of the acts of the first Hague
Peace Conference, which makes it the oldest institution for international dispute
resolution. In 2002, 96 countries were party to the treaty. The court deals in cases
submitted to it by the consent of the parties involved and handles cases between countries
and between countries and private parties. The PCA is housed in the Peace Palace in The
Hague, which was built specially for the Court in 1913 with an endowment from the
Carnegie Foundation. The same building also houses the International Court of Justice,
though the two institutions operate seperately.
b) World Trade Organisation (WTO): The World Trade Organisation is an
international organisation which oversees a large number of agreements defining the
"rules of trade" between its member states. The WTO is the successor to the General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and operates with the broad goal of reducing or
abolishing international trade barriers. The WTO has two basic functions: as a
negotiating forum for discussions of new and existing trade rules, and as a trade dispute
settlement body. The function of WTO as a trade dispute settlement body is important in
this context. The WTO has significant power to enforce its decisions, through the Dispute
Settlement Body, an international trade court with the power to authorize sanctions
against states which do not comply with its rulings. The WTO mainly resolves disputes
through the process of "consensus" and "arbitration" which are essentially mechanisms
c) International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) : The International Chamber of
Commerce is an international organization that works to promote and support global
trade and globalisation. It serves as an advocate of world business in the global economy,
in the interests of economic growth, job creation, and prosperity. As a global business
organization, made up of member states, it helps the development of global outlooks on
business matters. ICC has direct access to national governments worldwide through its
national committees. ICC activities include Arbitration and Dispute reolution which are
the most prominent activities that it performs.
d) Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS): The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS;
Tribunal Arbitral du Sport or TAS in French) is an arbitration body set up to settle
disputes related to sports. Its headquarters are in Lausanne; there are additional courts
located in New York City and Sydney, with ad-hoc courts created in Olympics host cities
as required. the CAS underwent reforms to make itself more independent of the
International Olympic Committee (IOC), organizationally and financially. The biggest
change resulting from this reform was the creation of an "International Council of
Arbitration for Sport" (ICAS) to look after the running and financing of the CAS, thereby
taking the place of the IOC. Generally speaking, a dispute may be submitted to the CAS
only if there is an arbitration agreement between the parties which specifies recourse to
the CAS. Currently, all Olympic International Federations but one, and many National
Olympic Committees have recognised the jurisdiction of the CAS and included in their
statutes an arbitration clause referring disputes to it. Its arbitrators are all high level jurists
and it is generally held in high regard in the international sports community.
e) United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL): The
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is the core legal
body within the United Nations system in the field of international trade law.
UNCITRAL was tasked by the General Assembly to further the progressive
harmonization and unification of the law of international trade. The UNCITRAL is a
body of member and observer states under the auspices of the United Nations. It drafted
the UNCITRAL Model law on International Commercial Arbitration in 1985.
Agreements, which cite the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, may be bound to this form of
dispute resolution. Legislation based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International
Commercial Arbitration has been enacted in Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh,
Belarus, Bermuda, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, in China: Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region, Macau Special Administrative Region; Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Germany,
Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Japan, Jordan,
Kenya, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Paraguay,
Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka,
Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine, within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland: Scotland; in Bermuda, overseas territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland; within the United States of America: California, Connecticut,
Illinois, Oregon and Texas; Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
f) Other treaties: The other treaties governing ADR in various states would include the
United States Code Title 9, The Agreement relating to the Applicationof the European
Convention on International Arbitration (Paris, 1962), The European Convention
providing a Uniform Law on Arbitration (Council of Europe, 1964). The various other
treaties enacted by the rest of the countries in the world are not included in this list.
Reasons behind introduction of ADR in India:
Alternative Dispute Resolution in India is an attempt made by the legislators and judiciary alike
to achieve the "Constitutional goal" of achieving Complete Justice in India. ADR first started as
a quest to find solutions to the perplexing problem of the ever increasing burden on the courts. A
thought-process that started off to rectify docket explosion, later developed into a separate field
solely catering to various kinds of mechanisms which would resolve disputes without
approaching the Formal Legal System (FLS). The reasoning given to these ADR mechanisms is
that the society, state and the party to the dispute are equally under an obligation to resolve the
dispute as soon as possible before it disturbs the peace in the family, business community,
society or ultimately humanity as a whole.
In a civilised society, principles of natural justice along with the "Rule of Law" should result in
complete justice in case of a dispute. Rule of Law is defined as the state of order in which events
conform to the law. It is an authoritative, legal doctrine, principle, or precept applied to the facts
of an appropriate case. These definitions give us the indication that the Rule of Law is a
authoritative concept which might lead to a win-lose situation in cases of dispute. Therefore,
ADR uses the principles of natural justice in consonance with the Rule of Law, in order to create
a favourable atmosphere of a win-win situation. This is much needed in countries like India
where litigation causes a great deal of animosity between the parties due to the agony caused by
the long-standing litigation. ADR, thus, gains its momentum in India today.17
Alternative Dispute Resolution in India was founded on the Constitutional basis of Articles 14
and 21 which deal with Equality before Law and Right to life and personal liberty respectively.
These Articles are enshrined under Part III of the Constitution of India which lists the
Fundamental Rights of the citizens of India. ADR also tries to achieve the Directive Principle of
State Policy relating to Equal justice and Free Legal Aid as laid down under Article 39-A of the
Constitution. The Acts which deal with Alternative Dispute Resolution are Arbitration and
Conciliation Act, 1996 (discussed in detail later) and the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
Section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 makes it possible for Arbitration proceedings to
take place in accordance with the Acts stated above.
In India, the quest for justice has been an ideal, which the citizens have been aspiring for
generations down the line. Our Constitution reflects this aspiration in the Preamble itself, which
speaks about justice in all its forms: social, economic and political. Justice is a constitutional
mandate. About half a century of the Constitution at work has tossed up many issues relating to
the working of the judiciary; the most important being court clogging and judicial delays.
Particularly disturbing has been the chronic and recurrent theme of a near collapse of the judicial
trial system, its delays and mounting costs. Here, the glorious uncertainties of the law frustrated
the aspirations for an equal, predictable and affordable justice is also a question, which crops up
often in the minds of the people.
We are a country of a billion people. The fundamental question is: How do we design and
structure a legal system, which can render justice to a billion people? The possibility of a
justice-delivery mechanism in the Indian context and the impediments for dispensing justice in
India is an important discussion. Delay in justice administration is the biggest operational
obstacle, which has to be tackled on a war footing. As Justice Warren Burger, the former Chief
Justice of the American Supreme Court observed in the American context:
"The harsh truth is that we may be on our way to a society overrun by hordes of lawyers,
hungry as locusts, and bridges of judges in numbers never before contemplated. The notion
— that ordinary people want black-robed judges, well-dressed lawyers, and fine paneled
courtrooms as the setting to resolve their disputes, is not correct. People with legal problems
like people with pain, want relief and they want it as quickly and inexpensively as possible."
This observation with greater force applies in the Indian context.
Therefore, this explains the need for Alternative Dispute Resolution in India. In a country, which
aims to protect the socio-economic and cultural rights of citizens, it is extremely important to
quickly dispose the cases in India, as the Courts alone cannot handle the huge backlog of cases.
This can be effectively achieved by applying the mechanisms of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
These are the reasons behind the introduction of ADR in India.
The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 199618
The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 was passed on the basis of the UNCITRAL Model
Law on International Commercial Arbitration, 1985 and UNCITRAL Conciliation Rules, 1980.
Its had been recommended by General Assembly of the United Nations that all countries should
give due consideration to the said Model Law in view of the desirability of uniformity of the law
of arbitral procedures and the specific needs of the international commercial arbitration practices.
It has also recommended the use of the said Rules in cases where a dispute arises in the context
of international commercial relations and the parties seek on amicable settlement of that dispute
by recourse to conciliation. These rules are believed to make a significant contribution to the
establishment of a unified legal framework for the fair and efficient settlement of disputes arising
in international commercial relations. These objectives have been laid down in the Preamble to
the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
Under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996; "arbitration" means any arbitration whether or
not administered by a permanent arbitral institution. This has been discussed in S.2 of the Act,
along with other definitions, which are peculiar to the Act. Under the Act, written
communication is delivered when it reaches the other party's place of business, habitual
residence or mailing address. If such an address cannot be traced recorded attempt to find out
and mail to the old address is sufficient (S.3). In the event that either of the parties know of a
provision from which either parties derogate, or any part of the agreement has not been complied
with, if no obligation is raised to such non-compliance, it is taken that the party has given up his
right to object and that right will be waived. (S.4) The extent of Judicial Intervention and
Administrative assistance are discussed in Ss. 5 & 6 of the Act.
Part II of the Act deals with Arbitration Agreements. Section 7 defines an arbitration agreement
as "an agreement by the parties to submit to arbitration all or certain disputes which have arisen
or which may arise between them in respect of a defined legal relationship, whether contractual
or not." An arbitration agreement may be in the form of an arbitration clause in a contract or in
the form of a separate agreement and it shall be in writing.
In case of a judicial application being filed for a dispute between parties who have agreed to
arbitrate, the judicial authority may refer the case to arbitration if he feels and arbitration can
take place even if the issue is pending before the judicial authority (S.8) The provisions
regarding interim measures are made under S.9 of the Act.
Part III of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 contains provisions regarding the
composition of an Arbitral Tribunal. The parties to an arbitration agreement are free to determine
the number of arbitrators they want and any person, of any nationality may be appointed as the
arbitrator. The parties are also free to decide on the procedure of arbitration. In case of a "three
arbitrator approach" each party nominates an arbitrator and the two said nominees should
nominate a third arbitrator. In case either of the parties fails to nominate an arbitrator or the two
nominees do not appoint a third arbitrator in 30 days the Chief Justice or any other institution
may on a request by either party appoint the arbitrator. Other provisions regarding the
appointment of arbitrators have been discussed at length under S.11 of the Act.
Under this Act, an arbitrator may be challenged in case there are circumstances, which give rise
to justifiable doubts regarding his independence or impartiality, or if he does not possess the
qualifications agreed to by the parties (S.12). A party who has appointed the arbitrator may also
challenge him. The parties may freely determine the procedure for arbitration, and in the event
that they do not decide such procedure, the arbitral tribunal relating to the agreement will look
into the challenge and pass an arbitral award. In case this award is also challenged, then the court
will pass a decree (S.13). Sections 14 and 15 lay down provisions relating to failure or
impossibility to act by the arbitrator and the termination of mandate and substitution of arbitrator
Chapter IV of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 deals with the jurisdiction of arbitral
tribunals. Section 16 clearly emphasizes that the arbitral tribunal may rule on its own jurisdiction
even with regards to any objection raised on the validity of the arbitration agreement itself – the
reason being that the arbitration clause, a part of the agreement is treated as an independent
contract of its own. A decision by the arbitral tribunal that the contract itself is null and void does
not render the arbitration clause as invalid. A plea that the arbitral tribunal does not have
jurisdiction cannot be raised later than after submitting the statement of defence and this plea
should be submitted as soon as the matter alleged to be beyond the scope of its authority is raised
in the arbitral proceedings. Interim measures regarding the dispute may be taken at the request of
a party unless otherwise agreed by the parties.
Chapter V deals with the basic conduct of an arbitral proceeding. Section 18 states that there
should be equal treatment of parties and both parties must be given equal opportunity to present
the case. Section 19 lays down that the arbitral tribunal is not bound by the Code of Civil
Procedure, 1908 or the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. The parties are free to determine the
procedure to be followed by the arbitral tribunal in the course of proceedings. In the event that no
such procedure is established by the parties, the tribunal may follow any procedure it deems fit.
The power of the arbitral tribunal includes the power to determine the admissibility, relevance,
materiality and weight of any evidence (S.19). The parties are free to agree upon the place of
arbitration or, if not determined, the power lies with the tribunal. (S.20) Arbitration proceedings
commence immediately after a dispute is submitted for arbitration, unless agreed upon otherwise.
(S.21) The language preference also lies with the parties, or the tribunal, which may use a
language it thinks fit. All documents submitted and received should be in the language adopted
in the proceedings or must be translated into it. (S.22)
Statements of claim and defence are dealt with under Section 23:
(1)Within the period of time agreed upon by the parties or determined by the arbitral tribunal, the
claimant shall state the facts supporting his claim, the points at issue and the relief or remedy
sought, and the respondent shall state his defence in respect these particulars, unless the parties
have otherwise agreed as to the required elements of those statements.
(2) The parties may submit with their statement all documents they consider to be relevant or
may add a reference to the documents or other evidence they will submit.
(3) Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, either party may amend or supplement his claim or
defence during the course of the arbitral proceedings, unless the arbitral tribunal considers it
inappropriate to allow the amendment or supplement having regard to the delay in making it.
Section 24 deals with hearing and written proceedings. It states that in the absence of a particular
clause, the arbitral tribunal shall decide whether to carry on the proceedings orally or on the basis
of documents and evidence. It also says that the parties should be given sufficient notice of any
meeting and all documents submitted must be shown to the other party.
Section 25 deals with the default of the party to claim or to respond or to appear for the oral
hearings. In the case of the former, the proceedings are terminated by the arbitral tribunal
whereas in the case of the latter two instances, the proceedings would continue with the
document evidence on hand.
The arbitral tribunal may appoint an expert to seek opinion, to collect information, and to
produce a report backed up by relevant documents unless otherwise agreed by the parties. The
parties may also examine the report, documents with the expert, again unless otherwise agreed to
by the parties. This is dealt in Section 26.
The arbitral tribunal or the party with the approval of the arbitral tribunal may apply to the court
for evidence. The court may order the evidences to be given directly to the arbitral tribunal or it
may furnish details about processes in earlier cases of similar nature. Disregard to this order by
personnel in absenting themselves to attend to the arbitral tribunal or for any other default in
producing the relevant evidence, invites punishment and penalties. Section 27 elaborates on the
summonses and commissions for the submission of witnesses and summonses for submission of
Making of arbitral award and termination of proceedings are written in the chapter VI.
In this Section 28 speaks on the rules applicable to the substance of dispute. In other than the
international commercial arbitration, the existing rules of arbitration prevalent at that time are
taken into account. In international commercial arbitrations, the rules designated by the parties as
applicable to the substance of dispute, the substantive law of the countries and not their conflicts;
In the absence of any such specifications, the rules as circumstantially viable and if the parties so
agree, decide ex aequo et bono or as amiable compositeur. In all cases, the terms of the contract
and the trade usages form a ground for decision making by the arbitral tribunal. Emphasizing on
the majority decision of the arbitral tribunal in case there are more than one in the tribunal,
Section 29 spells that the presiding arbitrator would decide on the questions of procedure.
Section 30 elaborates on the settlement, the conciliatory proceedings, the terms agreed on, and if
requested by the party and if there is no objection by the arbitral tribunal, to record and issue an
award on the terms agreed as per Section 31. Section 31 lists the various aspects of, and the
requirements for, the laying down of the terms of the award of settlement, the date and place
specifications, the monetary details, the costs and expenses – everything pertaining to the
Under Section 32 and 33, termination of proceedings and the corrections to the award (made
within 30 days) respectively. The various instances under which the termination of proceedings
occurs be it for having reached a consensus or withdrawal by either party or if the arbitral
tribunal finds it unnecessary to proceed further for reasons substantiated by the tribunal. Once
the award is issued and if there need be any corrections or amendment, and if within 30 days, it
has been put forth to the arbitral tribunal, an amendment to the award could be given as stated in
Chapter VII encompasses Section 34, which covers Recourse against Arbitral Award. Recourse
to the court for setting aside the Arbitral award by an application can be made only if the party to
the application furnishes proof of incapacity, lack of proper notice, not being present for the
arbitral proceedings for valid reasons, and if the decisions made are beyond the scope of the
submission to arbitration. Alternatively, if the court finds the subject-matter of the dispute is not
capable of settlement by arbitration under the law, for the time being in force, or if the arbitral
award is in conflict with the public policy of India.
Section 35 and 36 under Chapter VIII deal with Finality and Enforcement of arbitral awards.
Section 35 makes it final and binding on the parties to adhere to the arbitral award and Section
36 gives the arbitral award the power under the code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and in the same
manner as if it were a decree of court.
Chapter XI covers Section 37 on Appeals, the instances when appeals are allowed and it also
states that it a noting under this section shall take away any right to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Also, there is no second appeal provision.
The proceedings relating to CONCILIATION are dealt under sections 61 to 81 of Arbitration
and Conciliation Act, 1996. This Act is aimed at permitting Mediation conciliation or other
procedures during the arbitral proceedings to encourage settlement of disputes. This Act also
provides that a settlement agreement reached by the parties as a result of conciliation
proceedings will have the same status and effect as an arbitral award on agreed terms on the
substance of the dispute rendered by an arbitral tribunal.
Section 61 says that conciliation shall apply to disputes arising out of legal relationship, whether
contractual or not and to all proceedings relating thereto. Unless any law excludes, these
proceedings will apply to every such dispute while being conciliated. The parties may agree to
follow any procedure for conciliation other than what is prescribed under the 1996 Act. If any
law certain disputes are excluded from submission to conciliation, the third part will not apply.
According to Section 62, a party can take initiative and send invitation to conciliate under this
part after identifying the dispute. Proceedings shall commence when the other party accepts the
invitation. If the other party rejects, it stops there itself. If other party does not reply within 30
days it can be treated as rejection.
a. There will be only one conciliator, unless the parties agree to two or three.
b. Where there are two or three conciliators, then as a rule, they ought to act jointly.
c. Where there is only one conciliator, the parties may agree on his name
d. Where there are two conciliators, each party may appoint one conciliator.
e. Where there are three conciliators, each party may appoint one, and the parties may agree on
the name of the third conciliator, who shall act as presiding conciliator.
f. But in each of the above cases, the parties may enlist the assistance of a suitable institution or
The above provisions are contained in section 63 and 64(1)
Section 64(2) and proviso of the new law lay down as under:
a. Parties may enlist the assistance of a suitable institution or person regarding appointment of
conciliator. The institution may be requested to recommend or to directly appoint the conciliator
b. In recommending such appointment, the institutions etc. shall have regard to the considerations
likely to secure an "independent and impartial conciliator".
c. In the case of a sole conciliator, the institution shall take into account the advisability of
appointing a conciliator other than the one having the nationality of the parties.
In sections 65 to 73 contains provisions spread over a number of sections as to the procedure of
the conciliator. Their gist can be stated in short form.
a. The conciliator, when appointed, may request each party to submit a statement, setting out the
general nature of the dispute and the points at issue. Copy is to be given to the other party. If
necessary, the parties may be asked to submit further written statement and other evidence.
b. The conciliator shall assist the parties "in an independent and impartial manner", in their
attempt to reach an amicable settlement. See Section 67(1) of the new law.
c. The conciliator is to be guided by the principles of "objectivity, fairness and justice". He is to
give consideration to the following matters:
i) Rights and obligations of the parties;
ii) Trade usages; and
iii) Circumstances surrounding the dispute, including previous business practices between the
parties. [Section 67(2)].
d. He may, at any stage, propose a settlement, even orally, and without stating the reasons for the
proposal. [Section 67(4)].
e. He may invite the parties (for discussion) or communicate with them jointly or separately.
f. Parties themselves must, in good faith, co-operate with the conciliator and supply the needed
written material, provide evidence and attend meetings, [Section 71].
g. If the conciliator finds that there exist "elements of a settlement, which may be acceptable to
the parties", then he shall formulate the terms of a possible settlement and submit the same to the
parties for their observation.
h. On receipt of the observations of the parties, the conciliator may re-formulate the terms of a
possible settlement in the light of such observation.
i. If ultimately a settlement is reached, then the parties may draw and sign a written settlement
agreement. At their request, the conciliator can help them in drawing up the same. [See Sections
73(1) and 73(2)].
a. The settlement agreement signed by the parties shall be final and binding on the parties. [See
b. The agreement is to be authenticated by the conciliator. [See Section 73(4)].
c. The settlement agreement has the same status and effect as if it were an arbitral award
rendered by the arbitral tribunal on agreed terms. [See section 74 read with section 30].
The net result is that the settlement can be enforced as a decree of court by virtue of section 36.
Role of the Parties
Under section 72, a party may submit to the conciliator his own suggestions to the settlement of a
dispute. He at his own initiative or on the conciliator's request may submit such suggestions.
The net result of section 66, Section 67 (2) and Section 67(3) can be stated as follows:
a. The conciliator is not bound by the Code of Civil Procedure or the Evidence Act.
b. The conciliator is to be guided by the principles of objectivity, fairness and justice.
c. Subject to the above, he may conduct the proceedings in such manner, as he considers
appropriate, taking into account.
i. The circumstances of the case;
ii. Wishes expressed by the parties;
iii. Need for speedy settlement.
Disclosure and Confidentiality
a. Factual information received by the conciliator from one party should be disclosed to the other
party, so that the other party can present his explanation, if he so desires. But information given
on the conditions of confidentiality cannot be so disclosed.
b. Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the
conciliator and a party shall keep confidential "all matters relating to the conciliation
proceedings". This obligation extends also to the settlement agreement, except where disclosure
is necessary for its implementation and enforcement. (Section 75).
In any arbitral or judicial proceedings (whether relating to the conciliated dispute or otherwise),
the party shall not rely on, or introduce as evidence
i. Views expressed or suggestions made by the other party for a possible settlement;
ii. Admissions made by the other party in the course of conciliation proceedings;
iii. Proposal made by the conciliator; and
iv. The fact that the other party had indicated his willingness to accept a settlement proposal
During the pendency of conciliation proceedings, a party is debarred from initiating arbitral
or judicial proceedings on the same dispute, except "such proceedings as are necessary for
preserving his rights". (Section 77) (There is no mention of arbitral or judicial proceedings,
which are already initiated).
Conciliator Not to Act as Arbitrator
Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the conciliator cannot act as arbitrator, representative or
counsel in any arbitral or judicial proceedings in respect of the conciliated dispute. Nor can he be
"presented" by any party as a witness in such proceedings. (Section 80).
Costs and Deposit: The new law also contains provisions on certain other miscellaneous matters,
such as costs and deposit (Section 78 and 79).
Lok adalats as a unique ADR measure in India:
The emergence of alternative dispute resolution has been one of the most significant movements
as a part of conflict management and judicial reform, and it has become a global necessity.
Resolution of disputes is an essential characteristic for societal peace, amity, comity and
harmony and easy access to justice. It is evident from the history that the function of resolving
dispute has fallen upon the shoulders of the powerful ones. With the evolution of modern States
and sophisticated legal mechanisms, the courts run on very formal processes and are presided
over by trained adjudicators entrusted with the responsibilities of resolution of disputes on the
part of the State. The processual formalisation of justice gave tremendous rise to consumption of
time and high number of cases and resultant heavy amount of expenditure. Obviously, this led to
a search for an alternative complementary and supplementary mechanism to the process of the
traditional civil court for inexpensive, expeditious and less cumbersome and, also, less stressful
resolution of disputes.
As such, ADR has been, a vital, and vociferous, vocal and vibrant part of our historical past.
Undoubtedly, Lok Adalat (Peoples' Court) concept and philosophy is an innovative Indian
contribution to the world jurisprudence. It has very deep and long roots not only in the recorded
history but even in prehistorical era. It has been proved to be a very effective alternative to
litigation. Lok Adalat is one of the fine and familiar fora which has been playing an important
role in settlement of disputes. The system has received laurels from the parties involved in
particular and the public and the legal functionaries, in general. It also helps in emergence of
jurisprudence of peace in the larger interest of justice and wider sections of society.19
Lok Adalat (people's courts), established by the government settles dispute through
conciliation and compromise. The First Lok Adalat was held in Gujarat in 1982.
Lok Adalat accepts the cases which could be settled by conciliation and
compromise, and pending in the regular courts within their jurisdiction. The Lok
Adalat is presided over by a sitting or retired judicial officer as the chairman, with
two other members, usually a lawyer and a social worker. There is no court fee. If
the case is already filed in the regular court, the fee paid will be refunded if the
dispute is settled at the Lok Adalat. The procedural laws, and the Evidence Act are
not strictly followed while assessing the merits of the claim by the Lok Adalat.
Main condition of the Lok Adalat is that both parties in dispute should agree for
settlement. The decision of the Lok Adalat is binding on the parties to the dispute
and its order is capable of execution through legal process. No appeal lies against
the order of the Lok Adalat. Lok Adalat is very effective in settlement of money
claims. Disputes like partition suits, damages and matrimonial cases can also be
easily settled before Lok Adalat, as the scope for compromise through an approach
of give and take is high in these cases. Lok Adalat is a boon to the litigant public,
where they can get their disputes settled fast and free of cost. Parliament enacted the
Legal Services Authorities Act 1987, and one of the aims for the enactment of this
Act was to organize Lok Adalat to secure that the operation of legal system
promotes justice on the basis of an equal opportunity. The Act gives statutory
recognition to the resolution of disputes by compromise and settlement by the Lok
According to Legal Services Authorities (Amendment) Act 1994 effective from 09-
11-1995 has since been passed, Lok Adalat settlement is no longer a voluntary
concept. By this Act Lok Adalat has got statutory character and has been legally
recognized. Certain salient features of the Act are enumerated below:-20
1. Central, State, District and Taluk Legal Services Authority has been created
who are responsible for organizing Lok Adalats at such intervals and place.
2. Conciliators for Lok Adalat comprise the following: -
A. A sitting or retired judicial officer.
B. other persons of repute as may be prescribed by the State
Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of High Court.
Section 20: Reference of Cases
Cases can be referred for consideration of Lok Adalat as under:-
1. By consent of both the parties to the disputes.
2. One of the parties makes an application for reference.
3. Where the Court is satisfied that the matter is an appropriate one to be taken
cognizance of by the Lok Adalat.
4. Compromise settlement shall be guided by the principles of justice, equity,
fair play and other legal principles.
5. Where no compromise has been arrived at through conciliation, the matter
shall be returned to the concerned court for disposal in accordance with Law.
After the agreement is arrived by the consent of the parties, award is passed by the
conciliators. The matter need not be referred to the concerned Court for consent
The Act provisions envisages as under:
1. Every award of Lok Adalat shall be deemed as decree of Civil Court.
2. Every award the dispute.
3. No appeal shall made by the Lok Adalat shall be final and binding on all the
parties to lie from the award of the Lok Adalat.
Every proceedings of the Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be judicial proceedings for
the purpose of :-
1. Summoning of Witnesses.
2. Discovery of documents.
3. Reception of evidences.
4. Requisitioning of Public record.
Abraham Lincoln has observed:
"Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbours to compromise wherever you can.
Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser - in fees, expenses,
and waste of time. As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being
a good man. There will still be business enough." 21
The concept of Lok Adalat was pushed back into oblivion in last few centuries
before independence and particularly during the British regime. This concept is,
now, again very popular and is gaining historical momentum. Experience has shown
that it is one of the very efficient and important ADRs and most suited to the Indian
environment, culture and societal interests. The finest hour of justice is the hour of
compromise when parties after burying their hatchet reunite by a reasonable and just
compromise. This Indian-institutionalised, indigenised and now, legalized concept
for settlement of dispute promotes the goals of our Constitution. Equal justice and
free legal aid are hand in glove. It is, rightly said, since the second world war, the
greatest revolution in the law has been the mechanism of evolution of system of
legal aid which includes an ADR. The statutory mechanism of legal services
includes concept of Lok Adalat in the Legal Services Authorities Act. The legal aid,
in fact, is a fundamental human right.
Indian socio-economic conditions warrant highly motivated and sensitised legal
service programmes as large population of consumers of justice (heart of the
judicial anatomy) are either poor or ignorant or illiterate or backward, and, as such,
at a disadvantageous position. The State, therefore, has a duty to secure that the
operation of legal system promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity.
Alternative dispute resolution is, neatly, worked out in the concept of Lok Adalat. It
has provided an important juristic technology and vital tool for easy and early
settlement of disputes. It has again been proved to be a successful and viable
national imperative and incumbency, best suited for the larger and higher sections of
the present society and Indian system. The concept of legal services which includes
Lok Adalat is a "revolutionary evolution of resolution of disputes".
Implementation of ADR in India:
The implementation of Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms as a means to achieve speedy
disposal of justice is a crucial issue.The sea-change from using litigation as a tool to resolve
disputes to using Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms such as conciliation and mediation
to provide speedy justice is a change that cannot be easily achieved. The first step had been taken
in India way back in 1940 when the first Arbitration Act was passed. However, due to a lot of
loop-holes and problems in the legislation, the provisions could not fully implemented. However,
many years later in 1996, The Arbitration and Conciliation Act was passed which was based on
the UNCITRAL model, as already discussed in the previous section of the paper. The
amendments to this Act were also made taking into account the various opinions of the leading
corporates and businessmen who utilise this Act the most. Sufficient provisions have been
created and amended in the area of Lok Adalats in order to help the rural and commoner
segments to make most use of this unique Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism in India.
Therefore, today the provisions in India sufficiently provide for Alternative Dispute Resolution.
However, its implementation has been restricted to just large corporates or big business firms.
Lok Adalats, though a very old concept in Indian Society, has not been implemented to its
utmost level. People still opt for litigation in many spheres due to a lot of drawbacks. Provisions
made by the legislators need to be utilised. This utilisation can take place only when a definite
procedure to incerase the implementation of ADR is followed. In order to have such an
implementation programme, it is necessary to analyse what the problems are and rectify them.
Problems in implemenation and suggestions:
Any implementation is usually confronted with problems. ADR is no excaption to this rule.
Some of the problems faced during implementation are enumerated as under:
1) Attitudes: Although Indian law favours dispute resolution by arbitration, Indian sentiment has
always abhorred the finality attaching to arbitral awards. A substancial volume of Indian case-
law bears testimony to the long and ardous struggle to be freed from binding arbitral decisions.
Aided and abetted by the legal fraternity, the aim of every party to an arbitration (domestic or
foreign) is: "try to win if you can, if you cannot do your best to see that the other side cannot
enforce the award for as long as possible." In that sense, arbitration as a means of settling
disputes is a failure- though it is being increasingly regarded as a useful mechanism for resolving
disputes. The trouble is that neither the private sector nor the public sector in India are as yet
sufficiently infused with the "spirit of arbitration." An arbitration award should only be permitted
to be set aside for reasons extraneous to its contents – such as, lack of jurisdiction of the
arbitrator, fraud or corruption of the arbitrator or of the other party, or a fundamental miscarriage
of justice in the conduct of arbitral proceedings. Jurisdiction to correct patent legal errors on the
face of the award was a peculiarly English innovation. To have imported this questionable
jurisdiction into litigous India (as we did under the Arbitration Act, 1940) was a great mistake.
Then, thin dividing line between the merits of an award and errors of law apparent on its face are
often blurred- few questions of fact continue to remain so after being churned up in the mind of a
skilled lawyer! These basic infirmities in the law of arbitration, and the approach of users, left
their mark on domestic arbitration under the Arbitration Act, 1940.22
First and foremost, there is a need to change our traditional approach to resolving disputes, even
a need to change our basic attitudes. Perhaps the legendary basketball coach of Temple
University, John Chaney, said it best when he said that "winning is an attitude." He might well
have been speaking about dispute resolution and ADR. We need to redefine the very meaning of
what it is to "win." Consistent with what our clients want and deserve, the ultimate "win"
requires our understanding of the clients' interests and goals and our ability to solve their
problems. The spirit of ADR mechanisms is to create a WIN-WIN situation, but the attitude to
people is changing it into a WIN-LOSE situation, which is not very different from a litigation. In
so many large international arbitrations the defendant will do everything to postpone the moment
of the award; at and before the hearing, the parties will deploy all concievable, and some
inconcievable, procedural devices to gain an advantage; the element, of mutual respect is
lacking; and the loser rather than paying up with fortitude, will try either to have the award upset,
or to atleast have its enforcement long postponed. It is in this background that the new Indian law
(of arbitration and conciliation) was concieved and enacted. But it is not enough to have a new
law- it is necessary for judges and lawyers to realise that the era of court-structured and court-
controlled arbitration is effectively at an end. Our attitudes require readjustment; we need to re-
22 F.S. Nariman, "Alternative Dispute Resolution", 1st ed. 1997, p.45
adjust to the spirit of ADR, and adhere to its underlying philosophy, which is that of utmost good
faith of the parties.
2) Lawyer and Client Interests: Lawyers and clients often have divergent attitudes and interests
concerning settlement. This may be a matter of personality (one may be a fighter, the other a
problem solver) or of money. In some circumstances, a settlement is not in the client's interest.
For example, the client may want a binding precedent or may want to impress other potential
litigants with its firmness and the consequent costs of asserting claims against it. Alternatively,
the client may be in a situation in which there are no relational concerns; the only issue is
whether it must pay out money; there is no pre-judgement interest; and the cost of contesting the
claim is less than the interest on the money. In these, and a small number of situations, settlement
will not be in the client's interest. 23
Still, a satisfactory settlement typically is in the client's interest. It is the inability to obtain such
a settlement, in fact, that impels the client to seek the advice of counsel in the first place. The
lawyer must consider not only what the client wants but also why the parties have been unable to
settle their dispute and then must find a dispute resolution procedure that in likely to over come
the impediments to settlement. Note, however, that, even though it may initially appear that the
parties seek a settlement, sometimes, an examination of the impediments to settlements reveals
that atleast one party wants something that settlement cannot provide (eg. Public vindication or a
ruling that establishes an enforceable precedent.)
An attorney who is paid on an hourly basis stands to profit handsomely from a trial, and maybe
less interested in settlement than the client. On the other hand, an attorney paid on a contingent
fee basis is interested in a prompt recovery without the expense of preparing for or conducting a
trial, and maybe more interested in settlement than is the client. It is in part because of this
potential conflict of interest that most processes that seek to promote settlement provide for the
clients direct involvement.
For lawyers, this means new approaches that initially seem almost counterintuitive. For example,
the recovery of large sums of money is usually regarded as the ultimate "win" for plaintiffs in
commercial cases. Yet, Wall Street values longterm streams of revenue even more highly than
large sums of cash. Perhaps the restructuring of a long-term relationship would offer a better
Once in mediation, lawyers usually try to exert a high degree of control over the process, not
unlike in a deposition or at trial. However, direct involvement of the client in the mediation
process is often the best way to succeed. Lawyers also frequently engage in a "we-they"
approach to negotiations that rarely results in a zero-sum gain. Lawyers need to have a better
understanding of the importance of integrative bargaining, where lawyers can sit on the same
side of the table and try to "expand the pie."
Lawyers also need to reflect upon the meaning of Ethical Consideration, which imposes a duty to
represent a client zealously. Effective mediation advocates need to abandon any desire for
revenge in favor of a more goal-oriented approach if they are to secure the "win" that best serves
their client's interests. In many instances, it is not the lawyer but the angry client who wants
revenge. For these clients, every new case becomes a matter of principle until the client receives
the lawyer's third or fourth bill-then the client wants to spell the word "principle" differently.
Here, even more so, the lawyer has a responsibility to make an early and realistic assessment of
the dispute and to serve as an anchor for the client. These differences in interest need to be sorted
3) Legal Education: Law schools train their students more for conflict than for the arts of
reconciliation and accomodation and therefore serve the profession poorly. Already, lawyers
devote more time to negotiating conflicts than they spend in the library or courtroom and studies
have shown that their efforts to negotiate were more productive for the clients. Over the next
generation, society's greatest opprtunities will in tapping human inclinations towards
collaboration and compromise rather than stirring our proclivities for competition and rivalry. If
lawyers are not leaders in marshalling co-operation and designing mechanisms which allow it to
flourish, they will not be at the centre of the most creative social experiments of our time.25
A serious effort to provide cheaper methods of resolving disputes will require skilled mediators
and judges, who are trained to play a much more active part in guiding proceedings towards a
fair solution. In short, a just and effective legal system will not merely call for a revised
curriculum; it will entail the education of entire new categories of people. For law schools, there
is a need to recognize that the demands of the marketplace have forever changed the dynamics of
dispute resolution. Obviously, an understanding of the adversarial system, stare decisis, and the
process of litigation remain critical. At the same time, students need to enhance their skills as
negotiators and to appreciate, for example, the value of listening or the advantage of making the
"first credible offer." Law students also need to understand the suitability and advocacy issues in
ADR at more sophisticated levels and to understand the important keys to problem solving. It is
time that our law schools began to take the lead in helping to devise such trianing.26
4) Impediments to settlement27 : Just as there may be problems in the implementation techniques,
there are impediments even after that stage, i.e. during the time of settlement. Some of them are:
• Poor communication: The relationship between the parties and/or their lawyers may be so
poor that they cannot effetcively communicate. Neither party believes the other. An
inability to communicate clearly and effectively, which impedes successful negotiations,
is often, but not always, the result of a poor relationship. If, for example, the parties come
from different cultural backgrounds, they may have difficulty in understanding and
appreciating each other's concerns. Or, if there had been a long history of antagonism
between the key players, all efforts to communicate are likely to be hampered by
• The need to express emotions: At times, no settlement can be achieved until the parties
have had the opportunity to express their views to each other about the dispute and each
other's conduct. Such venting, combined with the feeling that one has been heard by the
other party, has long been recognized as a necessary step in resolving family and
neighbourhood disputes. Business disputes are no different. After all, they do not take
place between disembodied corporations but between people who manage those
27 Frank E.A. Sander &Stephen B. Goldberg, "Fitting the forum to the fuss", 1st ed. 1997, p.338
corporations, and who may have as much need to vent as anyone else involved in a
• Different views of facts: Usually in a dispute, there are two or more parties, each
believing that they are the hurt party in some way or the other. Each believes that the
other is the wrong-doer. To this belief, they have their own justifications. Just as each one
of them has a different perspective on what the result of the dispute should be, they also
have their own view regarding the facts of the case. Both parties have their own version
as to what the facts are and reconciling these different views is itself a majoe problem.
• Different views of legal outcome if settlement is not reached: Disputants often agree on
facts but disagree on their legal implications. One party asserts that, on the basis of the
agreed upon facts, he has a 90 percent likelihood of success in court; the other party,
with equal fervour, asserts that she has a 90 percent chance of success. While there may
be a legitimate dispute over the likely outcome, both these estimates cannot be right.
• Issues of principle: If each of the disputing parties is deeply attached to some
fundamental principle that must be abandoned or compromised in order to resolve the
dispute, then resolution is likely to be difficult. Two examples: a suit challenging the
right of neo-Nazis to march into a town where many Holocaust survivors live; and a suit
by a religious group objecting to the withdrawal of life-support systems from a comatose
patient. In view of the intensity of feelings in cases such as these, it is unlikely that
evaluative techniques will be helpful in reaching a settlement.
• Constituency pressures: If one or more of the negotiators represents an institution or
group, constituency pressures may impede agreement in two ways: different elements
within the institution or group may have different interests in the dispute, or the
negotiator may have staked her political or job future on attaining a certain result.
• Linkage to other disputes: The resolution of one dispute may have an effect on other
disputes involving one or both parties. If so, this linkage will enter into their calculations,
and may so complicate negotiations as to lead to an impasse. For example, an automobile
manufacturer in a dispute with one of its dealers concerning the dealer's right to sell
autos made by the other companies may ultimately be willing – for reasons specific to
that dealer – to allow it do so. But the manufacturer may so fear the effect of such an
agreement on similar disputes with other dealers that the parties arrive at an impasse. It is
possible that the manufacturer did not make this concern explicit in its negotiations with
the dealer because it did not want the dealer to know it was engaged in similar disputes
• Multiple Parties: Where there are multiple parties, with diverse interests, the problems are
similar to those raised by diverse constituencies and issue linkages.
• The "Jackpot" syndrome: An enormous barrier to settlement often exists in those cases
where the plaintiff is confident of obtaining in a Court a financial recovery far exceeding
its damages, and the defendant thinks it is unlikely. For example, the case may be one in
which the controlling statute provides for the discretionary award of punitive damages to
the successful plaintiff. If the underlying damage claim is for Rs. 10 lakh, and the
plaintiff thinks that Rs. 50 lakh in punitive damages is a real possibility while the
defendant does not, the vast disparity in case valuation may make settlement close to
5) Ignorance: One of the major reasons for the failure in implementation is the ignorance of the
existing provisions of law. Legislators have made the necessary laws, but have never thought of
implementing them at the grass- root level. They do not help in building up the awareness of
those laws, so that people will utilise them. ADR provisions are well known only in the big
business circles. Most of the educated elite are also unaware of the availability and possibility of
such mechanisms in India, let alone the rural sector. Most of the rural segment, after all these
years of independence, is now understanding the formal legal system and is making use of it at a
time when the country and the world at large is reverting back to the old community-based
problem solving and other ADR techniques so well known in rural India. Ignorance of laws is
not an excuse in our country. However, when no awareness is present, how would people know
about it and utilise it?
6) Corruption: Corruption is not a new issue in our country. It has always been a parasite to the
nation and is sucking out the very purpose of independence. Today, not a single work gets done
without having to bribe the way through. People have stopped challenging it as without being a
part of it, life becomes difficult. ADR mechanisms have a very great risk of being ridden by
corruption. For instance, in cases of negotiation between a rich educated person and poor
illiterate man over a land dispute, chances of the negotiator being bribed by the rich person is
very high. Thus, corruption can become a raging problem in ADR.
7) Though recourse to ADR as soon as the dispute arises may confer maximum advantages on
the parties; it can be used to reduce the number of contentious issues between the parties; and it
can be terminated at any stage by any one of the disputing parties. However, there is no
guarantee that a final decision may be reached.28
8) ADR procedures are said to be helpful in reaching a decision in an amicable manner.
However, the decisions arrived at after a non-litigative procedure are not binding as they are
voluntary. This makes the entire exercise futile as parties do not stick to their decision resulting
in a waste of time and money.
9) ADR procedure permits parties to choose neutrals who are specialists in the subject matter of
the disputes. This does not mean that there will be a diminished role for lawyers. They will
continue to play a central role in ADR processes; however, they will have to adapt their role
ADR requirements. Neutrals and trained ADR experts are very few to cater to the vast
10) Since the ADR proceedings do not require a very high degree of evidence, most of the facts
regarding the dispute which would have been proved otherwise continue to be a bane in the
discussion which may lead to dissatisfaction.
11) In ADR, the parties can choose their own rules or procedures for dispute settlement. Arriving
at them is the major hurdle.
12) ADR programmes are flexible and not afflicted with rigourous rules of procedure. There is,
therefore, a possibility of the parties going back on the agreed rules and programmes. This
creates a delay and slows the process of dispute resolution.
13) Flexibility and unconfirmed procedures make it extremely difficult to quote and use
precedents as directives.
28 Dr. S. R. Myeneni, "Arbitration, Conciliation, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Systems," 1st ed. 2004, p.18
14) ADR procedures were introduced to lessen the burden of the courts. However, since there is
an option to appeal against the finality of the arbitral award to the courts, there is no difference in
15) There are also some situations under which an amicable settlement through ADR is not
favoured. They are:
• One party may be owed money and simply be looking for the final and enforceable
decision which can be obtained by resorting directly to litigation. Any ADR procedure
only compromises his situation.
• A party may owe money and seek to use amicable settlement as a delay and discovery
mechanism – the other party may, therefore, be concerned about the delay, incurring
extra costs and being disadvantaged in the subsequent litigation
• Adjudicative methods may be most appropriate for resolving some situations, such as
frivolous claims, claims which compromise a particular principle, cases which involve
bodily injury or alleged criminality.
All these problems are not permanent in nature. They all have solutions. An attempt to make
suggestions for the solutions of the above listed problems has been made below. This list of
suggested solutions is merely illustrative and not exhaustive. An in-depth research for this is
It is felt that an attitudinal change towards ADR would result in active implementation of ADR
and the burden on the courts will reduce. Yet, whether it is in the urban segment or in the rural
segment, there is still a lack of knowledge about ADR. A need for instilling awareness is
imperative to bring in a change in the attitudes. The urban sector which has a higher literacy rate
could be reached by inserting slides in movie theatres, having advertisements in television
channels and newspapers, conducting periodical seminars and having a dedicated helpline. It is
the rural segment whose attitude is difficult to change. From the initial gramasabha system, it
took many years for them to adopt litigation. To revert back to the old system, which is in fact an
ADR concept would require tremendous amount of communication by trained professionals
bespelling the strengths of the system. An insight into the advantages of conciliation and
negotiation would bring in the desired change – change of attitude. To keep active here is
awareness, by interactive communication. A dedicated helpline would exhilerate the process of
attitudinal change by giving clarity to communication.
People are generally ignorant about legal terminology and the opportunities available in dispute
resoolution. The other gnarling issue is corruption. To combat these two forces, imparting
knowledge is a must. Driving ignorance away would infact, help in curtailing corruption too. The
NGOs should put in their efforts in providing a knowledge base to the needy. A committed
person in each NGO,working in rural areas, should help in reaching the goal quickly.
The major lacuna in ADR is that it is not binding. One could still appeal against the award or
delay the implementation of the award. "Justice delayed is justice denied." The very essence of
ADR is lost if it is not implemented in the true spirit. The award should be made binding on the
parties and no appeal to the court should be allowed unless it is arrived at fradulently or if it
against public policy.
Rules of procedure are being formulated on a case by case basis and the rules made by the parties
themselves, with maybe, some intervention of legal professionals. However, a general guideline
and a stipulated format would assist in bringing clarity to the formulation of an ADR award. This
would also help in cutting down ignorance and assist in better negotiation.
Legal education and law schools shoul focus on the arts of conciliation and negotiation and not
merely on litigation. Lawyer client interests should also be moulded towards a primary focus on
ADR failing which the recourse should be towards litigation.
Because justice is not executed speedily men persuade themselves that there is no such thing as
justice. Sharing the same sentiments, Chief Hustice Bhagwati said in his speech on Law Day, "I
am pained to observe that the judicial system in the country is on the verge of collapse. These are
strong words I am using but it is with considerable anguish that I say so. Our judicial system is
creeking under the weight of errors."
Arrears cause delay and delay means negating the accessibility of justice in true terms to the
common man. Countless rounds to the Courts and the lawyers' chambers can turn any person
insane. Even then loitering and wasting time in the corridors of Courts has become a way of life
for a majority of Indians who day by day are becoming litigous. Some of the main reasons for
delay in the disposal of cases are abnormal increase in the number of cases going to Courts and
Tribunals, mainly due to faulty legislation enacted hurriedly, arbitrary administrative orders,
increased consciousness of one's rights and gambler's instinct in a litigant due to multiplicity of
appeals and revisions provided in law."
The disputants want a decision, and that too as quickly as possible. As the problem of
overburdened Courts has been faced all over the world, new solutions were searched. Various
Tribunals were the answer to the search. In India, we have a number of Tribunals. However, the
fact of the matter is that even after the formation of so many Tribunals, the administration of
justice has not become speedy. Thus, it can be safely said that the solution lies somewhere else.
All over the globe the recent trend is to shift from litigation towards Alternative Dispute
Resolution. It is a very practical suggestion, which if implemented, can reduce the workload of
Civil Courts by half. Thus, it becomes the bounden duty of the Bar to take this onerous task of
implementing ADR on itself so as to get matters settled without going into the labyrinth of
judicial procedures and technicalities. The Bar should be supported by the Bench in this
herculean task so that no one is denied justice because of delay.
It is important here to mention the statement made by John F. Kennedy in this respect: "Let us
never negotiate out of fear but let us never fear to negotiate."
"Alternative dispute resolution," Ed. P.C. Rao and William Sheffield, 1st ed. 1997, Universal
Law Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., Delhi
S.R. Myneni, "Arbitration, Conciliation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Systems," 1st ed.
2004, Asia Law House, Hyderabad
NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT RDAA CHAIRMAN'S REPORT The National RDAA Board is in the process of community support and infrastructure building, in making some significant changes to its operations. order to provide a satisfactory service, with After extensive consultation and tendering from practical outcomes for its riders and participants. It State Offices, the national office has relocated to
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