“My advice, after participating in the legal profession for over 40 years in different capacities, is that you must keep the option of going to courts as a last resort. Use this last resort only after exploring the option of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – arbitration, mediation and conciliation. Arbitration and mediation are efforts at restoring a relationship,” CJI Ramana said.
Speaking at the curtain raiser and Stakeholders’ Conclave of International Arbitration and Mediation Centre, Hyderabad, CJI narrated the story of the Indian epic, the Mahabharata, and said that it provides an example of an early attempt at mediation as a conflict resolution tool.
“Lord Krishna attempted to mediate the dispute between the Pandavas and Kauravas. It may be worthwhile to recall that the failure of mediation led to disastrous consequences,” said the CJI.
He further said that there are many reasons for conflicts — misunderstandings, ego issues, trust and greed can lead to conflicts. Ultimately, small differences of opinion can lead to a big conflict and even big conflicts can be resolved with some effort in understanding one other, he further said.
The CJI said the reasons for opting for mediation or arbitration over traditional litigation are manifold, like fewer delays, less expensive, more involvement of the parties in the process, greater party choice, more control, more comfortable and amicable environment for the parties, etc.
He said, “I think that the most important factor behind the resolution of any dispute is having the right attitude. By right attitude, I mean we should leave aside our ego, emotions, impatience and embrace practicality. But, once these conflicts enter a court, much gets lost in the practice and procedure. I do not need to elaborate the benefits of mediation and arbitration to this gathering of domain experts and businesspeople. Dispute resolution mechanisms like arbitration and mediation are nowadays the preferred modes of dispute resolution.”
He said International Arbitration Centers are present in most commercial hubs – Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, New York, and Stockholm.
Despite the presence of some arbitration centres in India, Indian parties that enter into an international arbitration agreement often opt for an arbitration centre outside India incurring huge expenses, said the CJI.
“The setting up of this International Arbitration and Mediation Centre in Hyderabad will change this trend in India. This Centre is being established with the best infrastructure and the empanelling of internationally acclaimed arbitrators and mediators. Best practices from across the world are being taken into consideration to ensure efficient functioning of the centre and for drafting of the rules. With a global perspective and an emphasis on quality, I can assure you that it would soon be comparable to Arbitral Institutions like SIAC,” he added.
The event was attended by CJI Ramana, Supreme Court judges, Justices L Nageswara Rao, Subhash Reddy Hima Kohli, Chief Minister of Telangana K. Chandrashekar Rao, Law Minister A Indirakaran Reddy, former Supreme Court judge Kurian Joseph, Telangana High Court Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma among others.
The International Arbitration and Mediation Centre (IAMC) has been set up in 16000 sq. ft. area and is located in the financial district of Hyderabad. The Centre has four Arbitration hearing rooms, two mediation rooms, break-out and conference rooms, arbitrators retiring rooms, cafeteria etc.
The Centre is also equipped to handle online arbitrations and mediations via high-quality video conferencing.
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