Time ripe for set pre-litigation mediation law: CJI

Time ripe for law on compulsory pre-litigation mediation, says CJI S A Bobde

Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on Saturday said the time is ripe to devise a comprehensive legislation for "compulsory pre-litigation mediation" to ensure efficiency and reduce time pendency for the parties and the courts.

In his speech at the 3rd edition of an international conference on 'Arbitration in the Era of Globalisation', Justice Bobde said a robust "arbitration bar" is critical to the development of institutional arbitration in India as it would ensure availability and accessibility of practitioners with knowledge and experience.

Maintaining that arbitration was not meant to mirror litigation, he said the notion of 'alternative' was taken literally in alternative dispute resolution with parties turning to it as a secondary option.

“This mindset needs to change, and unless it does, all other reforms to promote ADR methods including arbitration are likely to remain as ineffective. A conscious effort must be made by all stakeholders to reorient the way they perceive ADR mechanism, in particular arbitration,” he said.

Today arbitration plays an essential role in the global infrastructure of international trade, commerce and investment and as an integral member of the global community and a trading and investment giant, how India engages with international arbitration has important ramifications on international trans-boundary flows of trade, commerce and investments as a whole, he said.

"The pre-institution mediation and settlement as mentioned in the Commercial Courts Act would pave the way for many more institutions to emphasize on the need of pre-litigation mediation considering its very many benefits,” Justice Bobde added.

He said, in recent times, globalisation has led to the dramatic growth in cross-border transactions involving India, resulting into an increasing demand for cross-border arbitration and establishment of transnational practices to deal with growing quantum and complexity of matters.

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