GLOBAL PANDEMIC LED TO THE GOLDEN AGE OF ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION TO ONLINE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

INTRODUCTION

The Global Pandemic – COVID 19 has revolutionized the whole world. By its pugnacity, impactful atrocious growth, or development in a majestic manner towards the worst phase of humanity. It moulds the whole nation in different scenarios towards dexterity. Despite having all such unfavourable events that occurred recently our justice system never steps back. This led to the new golden age of mediation and arbitration. These alternative dispute resolutions become a vehement source of getting justice not only internationally but also getting recognition in some of the backward or still developing countries after the pandemic. The pandemic unleashed the misery of around the world and affected to alter the whole industry of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms or more specifically e-ADR which can also be termed as ODR.

The research methodology which is been adopted in this article is a combination of primary and secondary. The primary research has been conducted through the help of google forms in a questionnaire format, which emphasized the consciousness of Alternate dispute resolution and the difference of new legislation in an individual contemporary life. The secondary method consists of precedent articles, surveys, seminars, and pre-existing journals which are in the public domain. The emphasis is laid in the primary and secondary to scrutinize the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the relevant data. The main limitation of the research paper is that to no use of primary data such as samples of the surveys, the interviews, and the secondary sources precedent articles and journals.

What is Alternate Dispute Resolution?

Alternate Dispute Resolution is a modus operandi of resolving disputes without litigation or judicial proceedings. Though it is only recognized to purport arbitration, conciliation, and mediation it can include other mechanisms such as settling through an ombudsman, complaint boards, facilitated settlements, or many hybrids’ mechanisms such as mediation-arbitration, arbitration-mediation-arbitration, or mediation-arbitration-mediation and Lok-Adalat’s for India.

Forms of Alternate Dispute Resolution

The disputes are resolved outside the court through Alternate Dispute Resolution through various methods. These methods are availed to resolve individual disputes for getting a solution without indulging in the traditional method which requires the physical presence of both parties on the date of hearing to the court. However, each method has A certain kind of binding effect on the parties which is mandatory in some of the methods or some, it’s not necessary. According to Section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code which states settlement of disputes outside the court which mentions alternate dispute resolution.

  • Judicial settlement including settlement through Lok-Adalat; or
  • Arbitration: Arbitration is a process in which a dispute is resolved by submitting the dispute to the arbitrators who are assigned by the agreement of the parties it can be one or more arbitrators who make a binding decision on the dispute.
  • Conciliation: Conciliation is a non-binding procedure in which an impartial third party a conciliator which assists the parties in resolving the disputes on the mutual satisfaction of the parties. It can be said that it is a less formal way of Arbitration.
  • Lok-Adalat: It is a forum where cases pending or at a pre-litigation stage in a court of law, are settled by the legal services authority’s Act, 1987.
  • Mediation: Mediation is a binding process to reach a mutually acceptable decision through an impartial person called a mediator and it is voluntary.

Global impact on the alternate dispute resolution of COVID-19

Amid Covid-19’s first wave it brutally revolutionized the whole justice system largely suspended the hearings about 23 types of jurisdictions that were not been in operation. The development accelerated to the virtual and online platforms for hearing. Perhaps the concept of ODR gets its peak due to the more involvement of technology after covid. However, ODR was not a new system as it was already been prevailing so far and it is also different from virtual hearings. While the first initiatives on ODR projects were launched in 1996 at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Maryland.[1]

ODR IN INDIA

Now the potential of ODR is at its peak as it’s now one major simplest, cost-effective method left after the world crises. The lock-down results, to the most judiciaries to a grinding halt, and hence it resulted in adding to the ODR momentum. The crisis has assisted set down any procuring uncertainty about the future of dispute resolution, which is now shattered both in India and globally, rests in the saddle the true potential of technology to resolve the disputes. India can be at the vanguard of this global ODR movement. This is feasible only through a magnificent, deliberated partnership between all pertinent stakeholders working on the front foot of ODR in India. For the same direction a step is been taken by the NITI Aayog on 6th June 2020, which was in collaboration with civil society and other organizations, they conducted a virtual consultation titled, ‘Catalyzing Online Dispute Resolution in India’. The main objective was to bring together key stakeholders to discuss how ODR can be introduced in India.[2]

Conclusion

Even now the dispute resolution’s outline in India is about many long-standing difficulties including the absence of coherencies and awareness. As of consequences of pendency in the disposal and super fluttering in the traditional courts and tribunals, dispute resolution in India requires a high exorbitant of time and assets. Remarkably, it can also be mentioned that it might have an unpropitious effect on the ease of doing business in India. Although India has made recent growth in the pleas of doing business ranking released by the World Bank, the inefficacies of the dispute resolution outlines abstain any country from enhancing an ideal surrounding for businesses and entrepreneurs.

Author(s) Name: Kartik Khandal (S S Jain Subodh Law College, Jaipur)

References:

[1] Ethan Katsh, ‘ODR: A Look at History’ in Mohamed Abdel Wahab and others (ed), Online Dispute Resolution Theory and Practice (EIP 2013) 23 accessed 22 September 2022

[2] NITI Aayog, ‘Catalyzing Online Dispute Resolution in India’ (Press Information Bureau, 07 June 2020) accessed 22 February 2022

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