Online Dispute Resolution emerging in Kerala, India

Online Dispute Resolution involving mediation and arbitration with the help of technology, was emerging as a branch of dispute resolution, Chief Justice of Kerala, H L Dattu said on Saturday. In India, this method is in its infancy stage and is gaining prominence day by day, he said after inaugurating the National Conference on court annexed mediation and role of institutional arbitration here.

With the enactment of Information Technology Act, 2000, e-commerce and e-governance have been given a formal and legal recognition. Even the traditional arbitration law of India has been reformulated and ‘Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996’ was enacted, he said.

In mediation, the practitioner has no advisory role, instead, a mediator renders help to parties to develop a shared understanding of the conflict and to work towards building a practical and lasting solution, he said.

He also emphasised the need for creating awareness on mediation among the general public. Continue reading Online Dispute Resolution emerging in Kerala, India

ICT Strategy of India: an Online Disptute Resolution ODR Perspective

ICT Strategy of India: an Online Disptute Resolution ODR Perspective

The aim of this article is to stress upon the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for resolving contemporary electronic commerce (e-commerce) and other disputes. The best example of the same is the use of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for resolving these disputes and misunderstandings. The Online Dispute Resolution Mechanism (ODRM) is gaining popularity among all the countries of the World, including India. There are, however, certain prerequisites that must be satisfied before ODRM can be effectively established and used in India.

I. Introduction

In the present globalised and decentralised world, India cannot afford to keep its economy closed and secluded. Thus, an interaction between Indian economy and world’s economy is inevitable. That is not a big problem. The real problem is to make Indian economy an efficient and competitive economy. Though there are many indicators for measuring the strengths and weaknesses of an economy, but the ICT strategy of a nation is very crucial to put it on a global map. It is very important that the ICT strategy and policies of a nation must not only be suitable but should also believe in a “holistic application and implementation”. The ICT strategy and policy of a nation cannot afford to keep the different components of ICT[1] separate. Their amalgamation and supplementation must be done at a priority basis otherwise the ICT strategy and policy will not bring the desired results.[2] The present ICT strategy and policies of India are deficient and defective.[3] It must be appreciated that the ICT is directly related to International Trade, more particularly e-commerce. Thus, when the Indian economy will be integrated with the Global economy certain disputes are bound to be there. We cannot use the traditional litigation methods to resolve those disputes. That will only put more pressure on the already overburdened courts. The fact is that the increasing backlog of cases is posing a big threat to our judicial system. The same was even more in the early 90 but due to the computerisation process in the Supreme Court and other courts that was reduced to a great extent. However, the backlog is still alarming.[4] This is because mere computerisation of Courts or other Constitutional offices will not make much difference. What we need is a will and desire to use the same for speedy disposal of various assignments. There is a lack of training among Judges regarding use of Information Technology (IT). We need a sound training of Judges first before we wish to capatilise the benefits of IT. A good initiative has already been taken by the Supreme Court.[5] However, the same appears to be dormant for the time being. Thus, we need a public initiative as well.[6] Besides, the use of ICT for ODR purposes is also inevitable due to the mandates of the “right to speedy trial” that is provided by the Constitution of India. Continue reading ICT Strategy of India: an Online Disptute Resolution ODR Perspective

Online Dispute Resolution in India

The aim of this article is to analyse the prospective use of online dispute resolution mechanism (ODRM) in India. The necessity of the same has arisen due to the growing use of alternative dispute resolving mechanism (ADRM) in India to reduce the burdening of the already overburdened courts in India. The popularity and use of ADRM is increasing but it can achieve its best only if the same is integrated with the information technology.

I. INTRODUCTION

The swift growth of e-commerce and web site contracts has increased the potential for conflicts over contracts which have been entered into online. This has necessitated a solution that is compatible with online matters and is netizens centric. This challenging task can be achieved by the use of ODRM in India. The use of ODRM to resolve such e-commerce and web site contracts disputes are crucial for building consumer confidence and permitting access to justice in an online business environment. These ODRM are not part and parcel of the traditional dispute resolution machinery popularly known as judiciary but is an alternative and efficacious institution known as ADRM. Thus, ADR techniques are extra-judicial in character. They can be used in almost all contentious matters, which are capable of being resolved, under law, by agreement between the parties. They have been employed with very encouraging results in several categories of disputes, especially civil, commercial, industrial and family disputes. These techniques have been shown to work across the full range of business disputes like banking, contract performance, construction contracts, intellectual property rights, insurance, joint ventures, partnership differences etc. ADR offers the best solution in respect of commercial disputes. However, ADR is not intended to supplant altogether the traditional means of resolving disputes by means of litigation. It only offers alternatives to litigation. There are a large number of areas like constitutional law and criminal law where ADR cannot substitute courts. In those situations one has to take recourse of the existing traditional modes of dispute resolution. Continue reading Online Dispute Resolution in India