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Central Government to Introduce Indian Arbitration Council Act, 2017

In an attempt to make Indian arbitration stronger and more regularized, the Central Government is proposing to introduce The Indian Arbitration Council Act, 2017 (“Act”). The Act will establish an Indian Arbitration Council (“Council”) which intends to make India a pivot of “independent and autonomous regime for institutionalized arbitration.” The Council will be an institution of “national importance” and will have the potential to conduct international and domestic arbitration.

The Act has been proposed because the International Centre for Alternative Disputes Resolution, introduced in the year 1995, for vibrant eco-system for institutional arbitration in India failed to engage and embrace developments keeping pace with the changing dynamics of arbitration and was therefore unsuccessful in establishing an institutional framework for growing and changing need of national and international parties, resorting to arbitration in India.

The proposed Act will establish Council on various undertakings of The International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution. The Council will have its headquarters in New Delhi with its branches at other places in India. It will be headed by a chairperson who will be either a retired Supreme Court or High Court Judge or an eminent person who has experience and knowledge in conducting or administering arbitration. The chairperson will be appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India. Members of the council will include “two eminent persons” with experience and knowledge in domestic and international arbitration, a representative of a recognised body of commerce and industry elected by ministry of industry and commerce as part-time members. The union law secretary or his representative will be a member and finally one member will be financial adviser nominated by the ministry of finance.

The Act will address problems like systemic delays, high costs, confidentiality issue and ineffective resolution and ensure quick enforcement of contracts along with minimizing hurdles of delay. The Act aims at catalyzing cross-border business environment and to make India an attractive destination for the arbitration of international commercial disputes.

Source: The Economics Times, Raghav Ohri, Dated (14.11.17)