Commercial Dispute Resolution (CDR) as part of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has received renewed interest in India after Singapore International Arbitration Centre entered the Indian space through the Gujarat International Finance Tech-city (GIFT), Gujarat. India is yet to take off as a dispute resolution hub in a big manner owing to the lack of trained personnel to tackle the complex issues involved in disputes of a commercial nature in addition to the delays in resolution, costs involved, lack of state level Arbitration/ Mediation Centres, lack of adoption of Dispute Resolution Rules etc. This has affected investments to the country and the operation of various companies in India or foreign companies having business relations in India. According to estimates, Commercial disputes which end up in various courts in India take an average of 4-6 years for final settlement and companies are considered to demarcate around 10-15% for legal costs which is reflective of the low rank of India for ‘Enforcing Contracts’ at 180 in the 2016 World Bank Doing Business Rankings.
The Government of India recently provided a strong push for Commercial Dispute Resolution by amending the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 based on the recommendations of the 20th Law Commission Report (No.246) to promote institutional international arbitration centres, rationalise fee for arbitrators, conduct of Arbitral proceedings, decrease investment treaty risks from delays of judicial intervention etc. The Mumbai Arbitration Centre and the proposed Kolkata Centre in West Bengal have brought new vigour to the dispute resolution scenario at the state level which will require adequate resource pool.
It is in this context, that Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centre, the dispute resolution wing of Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) (established in 2009) is initiating a project with the support of British Deputy High Commission Chennai focussing on the three states- Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. As per the initiative, ADR Centre-CPPR will assess the reforms initiated at the state levels, assess the scope of Commercial Dispute Resolution Centres to mitigate the flaws and failures existing in earlier or existing dispute resolution systems and also develop a strategy plan for state governments, companies and investors to develop effective dispute resolution systems. Further CPPR will provide a unique training programme focussed on CDR to develop resource pool at the state level.
CPPR intend to collaborate with institutions, individuals interested in the project area with a larger aim to expand the scope of Dispute Resolution in India. Please mail [email protected] for partnerships and support.