Introduction to ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution)
With the increase in the crime rate, the number of pending cases is also increasing. This raises a serious concern over the judiciary and also on the quality of the judicial decisions as justice delayed is justice denied. This has given popularity to the not so popular age-old alternate dispute resolution mechanisms. Even our Constitution aims towards complete justice, which can be accomplished by implementing these mechanisms.
Through this, parties can settle disputes without or sometimes with the help of the third party. Even majority of the judiciary strongly favour the use of ADR like mediation to settle disputes. Among its advantages is confidentiality in proceedings, fewer costs as compared to litigation, and control over the selection of the individual to settle their dispute and as a result they reduce court backlog.
It is classified into two broad categories namely court-annexed options and community-based dispute resolution mechanisms. These categories further divide to include mediation/ conciliation as part of court-annexed options wherein; a neutral third party helps the parties to the dispute to reach an amicable solution. Governments, corporations, and individuals all around the globe resort to mediation as a means to settle disputes of any nature. Community-based dispute resolution mechanism on the other hand though is independent of formal court system but it may be sometimes biased and often more expensive and otherwise inaccessible to the larger section of society.
ADR is also inclusive of arbitration where parties mutually or solely appoint a neutral third party to issue binding decisions for the parties in dispute. One could witness the growing demand of this very mechanism and this is leading to the establishment of various institutions and centers for private arbitration services. Also, countries are tracing the path of UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration of 1985 and thus are making the needful legislation, which gives binding force to an arbitral award and grants broad rights to commercial parties choosing arbitration. These days, even the contracts contain an arbitration clause in order to prevent chaos at the time of a dispute.
Another form of ADR is the negotiation.
This is a mechanism, which can be found in every part of life. But, when it comes to negotiation in terms of a dispute, it is a process where the parties agree upon the course of action and bargain for their private or for collective interest and therefore reaches to a solution, which serves mutual interests. Traditionally it was seen as a win-lose situation but with the advancement and developments in the mechanisms of dispensing justice, it is now seen as a win-win situation.
One of the significant movements as part of ADR is Lok Adalats.
This has now become a global necessity in order to achieve peace, harmony and easily accessible justice. This is a unique concept and has proved to be a very effective choice over litigation proceedings. In this, regular disputes which are pending in the courts having jurisdiction over the cases are settled through conciliation and compromise. It is presided by the sitting judicial officer and he/she is accompanied by the social worker to ensure that no one of the parties interest is sacrificed.
Though all these mechanisms seem to be very fancy their implementation is still a matter of grave concern keeping in the mind the Indian Judiciary and the mindset of the public. But, if implemented then the results guaranteed would be positive and the Indian Judiciary will be looked upon with a brighter hope. These mechanisms ensure speedy trial, which, is a change that will take the time to get its root deepened in the society. Sufficient provisions through The Arbitration and Conciliation Act have been made and amendments have been made in the Lok Adalats, which are required for the common segments of the society just the infusion of the spirit to opt for these mechanisms is left.
Submitted by – Mansi Gupta
(Content Writer @ Legal Bites)