Critically discuss the salient features of the draft Indian Arbitration Council Act, 2017.

Published: November 14, 2017

India is set to become the next global hub for institutional arbitration as Indian Arbitration Council which is being set by the present government will act as a flagship institution for conducting the international and domestic arbitration.

  • It will be an institute of national importance created with the sole aim of conducting an institutionalised arbitration in an independent and autonomous manner.
  • Various undertakings of The International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution will be acquired and transferred to establish the Council.
  • The headquarters of the same will be at New Delhi with branches in other parts of the country.
  • It will be instrumental in providing the Centre with the requisite assistance to actively engage and acquire changes in arbitration sphere around the world.

The new Act will help to address various problems like systemic delays, high costs, issue of confidentiality and ineffective resolution which are plaguing and holding back India from becoming the preferred destination to the parties of arbitration. It is a welcome initiative but has to chalk out efficient ways to take on the huge pendency of cases. The new Council should be able to ensure quick enforcement of contracts along with minimising hurdles for recovery. This is necessary to attract investment and to showcase India as Investor-friendly nation. The Council should collaborate with various law firms and schools to be able to give shape to a specialist panel which will be completely dedicated to the field. The Council should not merely duplicate the existing body but act as an effective alternative to it.          

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