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ROLE OF ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN MODERN SOCIETY

Author: Binny jain, pursuing B.Com.LLB. from Lloyd law college, Greater Noida

Co-author: Roshni kumari, pursuing B.A.LLB. from Lloyd law college, Greater Noida


ABSTRACT

We have seen that there are alternative dispute resolution methods besides the court system there have been tremendous efforts made to create conflict resolution tactics that are more efficient, less expensive, and more rewarding, includingexpanding the use of mediation and other “alternative dispute resolution techniques (ADR) methods. In addition to focusing on mediation’s broader application and justification,the research paper also examines the relationship between ADR and court trials. Many court-annexed ADR programs provide positive cost and time savings, but it is clear that much depends on the design and organization of these processes. According to ADR in the business world mediation has been more popular recently which is a reflection that it has enormous potential benefits for the company in this study article and analysis of the research questions hypothesis research methodologies and definition and application of ADR have been made Indian laws governing ADR process.


INTRODUCTION

Although the Indian legal system is among the oldest in the world, it is also widely acknowledged that it is becoming less effective at handling open cases. Indian courts are overburdened with extended unresolved issues. The situation is that despite the establishment of more than a thousand fast-track courts that have previously resolved millions of cases, the issue is still far from being resolved as the backing of unresolved cases continues to grow. Our nation’s methods for delivering justice through the courts have led to some serious issues like exorbitant, delays a significant backlog of cases,and costly litigation. The administration informed the Lok Sabha on Friday that around 6.72 lakh cases had lingered in various district and subordinate courts for over 20 years. There are 2,94,547 of these instances involving High Courts. Law Minister Kiren Rijiju responded in writing, “According to statistics received from the Integrated Case[1] Management Information System (ICMIS) as of January 27, 2023, 208 cases are pending in the Supreme Court of India for more than 20 years.” The situations highlighted due to the Court system of India and the cases still pending in the apex court are very problematic for the public for many reasons. To solve all those issues apart from the court proceedings there is a method that has been established outside the court to solve the situation mutually by the parties in a peaceful manner, this method is known as Alternative Dispute Resolution.


Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)is a process for settling disputes and disagreements between parties by coming to mutually agreeable solutions through negotiation and discussion. It is an effort to develop a different conflict resolution system from the established one once when negotiation has stalled or a mutually accepted solution has not been reached. The ADR mechanism promises to help resolve business disputes and other concerns. It helps to resolve issues outside the court of law. The quick administration of justice, avoidance of lengthy waiting periods, self-paced, client-friendly, and cost-effectiveness are only a few of the benefits of ADR.


HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

ADR’s history can be traced back to our own. The concept of Lok Adalat is an innovative contribution of India to world jurisprudence. India has a long tradition and history of ADR processes such as mediation.


Panchayats are the grassroots organization thatpractices Lok Adalat. The ancient concept of resolving disputes through Arbitration, Conciliation, Mediation, or Negotiation, known as the verdict or decision of the “NyayaPanchayat” is conceptualized and institutionalized in Lok Adalat philosophy. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, the concept of mediation was widely used. This practice has become more common in Western countries since the advent of the twenty-first century. Its origin can be traced back to the United States, specifically the Pound Conference in 1976. It was followed by two pieces of legislation: the Civil Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996 and the Justice Reforms Act of 1990. Numerous statutes in the United States make mediation mandatory for dispute resolution. State bar associations have established mediation centers, and the American Bar Association has an intensive dispute resolution section. Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, have implemented mediation systems as an alternative dispute resolution.


ADVANTAGES OF ADR

Due to the procedural flexibility and lack of stress associated with a traditional trial, it is more practical, economical, and effective. Helping to ensure secrecy as conflict settlement is typically done in private. Guaranteeing the presence of an arbitrator, mediator, conciliator, or neutral adviser with specific knowledge of the tribunal. The result frequently yields innovative ideas, long-lasting effects, increased pleasure, and strengthened bonds. It also gives you more direct influence over the result at risk are personal connections.


  • Parties have more freedom to choose the procedural and discovery rules that will apply to their dispute in arbitration they have options, which the usual legal system does not provide.

  • The arbitrator or mediator who will hear each party’s case is frequently chosen by the parties, who normally choose someone with knowledge of the dispute’s relevant subject matter.

  • Under ADR, a case is resolved promptly. The issue must be resolved within a certain amount of time.

  • It is less expensive than the old-style legal system.


DISADVANTAGES

The main drawback is that they might not always be impartial. For instance, there may be bias because each side selects its arbitrator during the arbitration process. The party with the more negotiating power typically gets what they want. There are instances of alternative dispute resolution where one side gains unfairly. Using competent impartial neutral parties will ensure that everything is fair.


ROLE OF ADR IN MODERN SOCIETY

To fulfill the needs and demands of the populace, a new ADR process was introduced into the nation by the USA. It was a start towards developing alternatives to the conventional system, which was expensive and time-consuming, unpredictable, rigid, destructive to the relationships, and had a narrow scope. People relied on an alternative to resolve issues that had arisen. The Indian legal system’s primary flaw is its failure to provide those in need with legal remedies and the harmed party with social justice. More cases are still open in the nation than are closed cases. The explanation could be due to a growth in the number of violations and the length of time it takes the judiciary to resolve cases. Alternative Dispute Resolution can assist in resolving conflicts that are less serious in nature compared to significant crimes so that the courts have enough time to review the case, make a decision, and effectively and swiftly administer justice.

  • Arbitration: The case is taken before an arbitral tribunal, which renders a decision that is largely enforceable against the parties. Compared to a trial, it is less formal, and the rules of evidence are frequently loosened. Generally speaking, an arbitrator’s ruling cannot be challenged. There is relatively limited room for judicial intervention in the arbitration process, save from a few temporary measures.[2]


  • Mediation: In mediation, a neutral third party known as a “mediator” assists the parties in their efforts to come to a mutually agreeable resolution to the conflict. Instead of deciding the issue, the mediator facilitates communication between the parties so that they can try to resolve it on their own. Anyone who completes the necessary 40 hours of training as forth by the Supreme Court’s Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee (SC) is qualified to serve as a mediator. To qualify for accreditation as a qualified mediator, he must also have completed at least 20 mediations overall and at least ten of those mediations that resulted in a settlement.


  • Lok Adalat: The Legal Services Authorities Act of 1987 was responsible for establishing the Lok Adalat system of dispute settlement to speed up the system. Pre-litigation disagreements at Lok Adalat could be resolved amicablymany cases come in Lok Adalat civil cases, MACT cases, Matrimonial cases, and petty offense cases these are cases.


  • Negotiation: An optional process where negotiations between the parties are started without the involvement of a third party to reach a negotiated resolution to the conflict. It is the most typical alternative dispute resolution technique. In addition to business, non-profit organizations, governmental bodies, legal proceedings, and disputes between nations, negotiation also takes place in everyday life and intimate contexts like marriage, divorce, and parenthood.


  • Conciliation: A non-binding process in which the conciliator, an unbiased third party, helps the disputing parties resolve their differences. An informalized version of arbitration is conciliation. The conciliator’s proposals are open for acceptance or rejection by the parties. The conciliator’s settlement proposal, though, will only be final and binding if both parties accept it.


  • Judicial settlement: The process of judicial settlement is very popular in the United States It refers to the resolution of a civil case with the assistance of a judge who is not assigned to the adjudication.


  • Facilitation: it is an ADR tool that refers to an outside person staying neutral, leading the process, and creating participation in a group.


Mediation bill 2021 is also a great development in the modern era in the field of ADR as it was introduced in Rajya Sabha on 20th December 2021 and on the same day, it was transferred to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice for further deliberation. The Bill seeks to change the mediation environment in India, it defines some legal terms and lays forth a uniform mediation process that must be followed throughout the nation. The Bill’s main goal is to spread awareness of mediation, a less time-consuming and more affordable way to settle the conflict to decrease the number of cases that are now ongoing in court.Some of the important provisions in the Mediation bill are-

Pre-litigation mediation–Pre–litigation mediation can be understood as a consensual process whereby both parties come together to settle the disagreement amicably between them with the aid of an unprejudiced adjudicator, before the institution of a suit or indeed before transferring the notice to the court. According to the mediation bill, whether or not there is a mediation agreement between the parties, it is mandatory for both parties before initiating any lawsuit or judicial proceeding as this is a major concern that the parties who do not attend this mediation may be penalized, thisviolates the fundamental right under article 21 which provides the right to access to justice and that cannot be restricted.

  • Mediation council of India–The central government shall by notification, establish for the motive of this act a council to be known as the purpose of this act, a council to be known as the mediation council of India to perform the duties and discharge the function under this act


  • Online mediation– This is a type of mediation that can be done at any period using electronic tools over a computer network, as stated in section 32 of the bill. The only requirement is that the confidentiality of the proceedings should be upheld throughout the mediation.


  • Community mediation – According to the term defined, this mediation is about a situation that puts an impression on the entire community or society. Accordingto section 44 of the mediation bill, any issue that threatens the peace and harmony of the Neighbourhood or community may be resolved with the agreement of the parties involved through this type of mediation.


CONCLUSION

Alternative Dispute Resolution has proven to be effective in reducing the burden of the Traditional Court. Because of the expedited justice and cost-effectiveness, ADR is being used in increasing cases. However, some flaws in the modern system must be addressed, such as the creation of more ADR canters for resolving disputes outside the court. Second, we must expand the ADR mechanism beyond cities. As a result, Gram Nyayalayasshould handle 60 to 70% of rural litigation, freeing up regular courts to handle complex civil and criminal cases. People now have ways to settle disputes thanks to alternative dispute resolution. The use of ADR to resolve disputes has grown in popularity among the general public. Thus, the ADR movement must be accelerated because it will significantly reduce the load on the court and will aid in achieving the goal of providing social justice to the disputants.

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