December 31, 2006

New Handbook of ADR in India Touts Role of Ombuds

The new publication by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, Handbook on Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution, observes that "settlement of disputes outside the courts is not new." Resolutions have been facilitated by the village panchayat and the ombudsman. "Long before the King came to adjudicate on disputes between persons, such disputes were quite peacefully decided by the intervention of the Kulas (family or clan assemblies), Srenis (guilds of men following the same occupation), Perishads (assemblies of learned men who knew law) and such other autonomous bodies." Statutory backing for ADR comes from the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, a law that has predecessors in the Indian Arbitration Act of 1899 and later in the 1940 Act. (The Hindu Business Line.)

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