The International Arbitration and Mediation Centre (IAMC), Hyderabad on April 16 hosted its 1st India Mediation Day.
The event was attended by various judges, arbitrators, senior advocates and industry leaders. It witnessed panel discussions on the relevance of mediation in cross-border disputes, India as an emerging hub of institutional mediation and IAMC Hyderabad’s mediation roadmap for 2025.
In his opening remarks, former Supreme Court judge Justice L Nageswara Rao drew attention to the Justice BN Srikrishna Committee Report, which had recommended the growth of institutional arbitration in India, and served as the foundation for the establishment of IAMC in Hyderabad.
He emphasized the pressing need to relieve the burden on Indian courts and the importance of swift alternative dispute resolution, which was the basis for IAMC’s establishment.
The Supreme Court’s Justice Hima Kohli was also present at the session. She spoke about the extensive use of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) in ancient and medieval India and how ADR is known as the “Appropriate Dispute Resolution” mechanism in contemporary India.
She also highlighted the advantages of mediation, such as its non-adversarial and voluntary nature, flexibility, confidentiality, speed and cost-effectiveness. Justice Kohli mentioned that consensual settlements achieved through mediation offer finality and reduce the caseload burden on courts, which in turn contributes to the country’s financial and commercial growth.
Justice Kohli expressed her belief that mediation will soon be recognized as a viable career opportunity for students and young practitioners. She also emphasized the importance of including mediation in the curriculum of universities and colleges to train future mediators.
Former Chief Justice of India NV Ramana spoke about the importance of resolving disputes quickly and efficiently for the growth of society, the country and the world. He emphasized on the power of mediation and arbitration in achieving this goal, citing Lord Krishna’s mediation in the Mahabharata as an example of successful dispute resolution in ancient India.
Justice Ramana also highlighted the need for enforceability in mediation and called for a focus on creating confidence and credibility to ensure fruitful outcomes.
Former Supreme Court judge Justice RV Raveendran gave the closing remarks in which he stressed on the importance of mediation as an alternative to litigation. He pointed out the disadvantages of litigation such as delay, uncertainty, inflexibility, high costs and difficulties in execution.
Justice Raveendran highlighted the importance of remembering mediation as an option and having a mindset to settle. He also explained that in mediation, parties are aware of their own and the other party’s strengths and weaknesses, which makes the process more effective. He thus urged the legal community to embrace a culture of mediation, where parties willingly settle disputes instead of resorting to litigation.
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