SC judge: need to shift from ad hoc arbitration to institutional set-up

SC judge: need to shift from ad hoc arbitration to institutional set-up

New Delhi: Supreme Court judge Justice Indu Malhotra on Saturday said there is a need for the country to shift from ad hoc arbitration to institutional arbitration.

Justice Malhotra, speaking at the 12th Annual International Arbitration Conclave organised by Nani Palkhivala Arbitration Centre (NPAC), stressed the need to find recourse within the arbitral process to have a right of internal appeal without widening the contours of judicial review.

“It is necessary to appoint trained arbitrators with domain knowledge of the subject, and persons of integrity, rather than widen the scope of judicial review,” she added.

She also discussed the provisions pertaining to setting aside of awards, its scope and the way forward in arbitration.

Senior advocate and NPAC director Arvind P. Datar emphasized the need for clarity on the role of foreign lawyers and foreign arbitrators.

He said, “For the last 25 years, I have been hearing about how we should not have ad hoc arbitration, and I think it’s time to bite the bullet and make institutional arbitration mandatory for at least the PSUs. We also must focus on making domestic arbitration very robust.”

Leigh-Ann Mulcahy QC, Fountain Court Chambers, London, said impartiality should be a fundamental principle of arbitration. “It is an important need in a system that is voluntary and autonomous that they be completely comfortable with the Arbitrator who will resolve their dispute,” she said.

The conclave saw participation from close to 250 advocates, CEOs, academics, financial intermediaries and students and others actively participating in discussions on various issues of contemporary interest.

The discussions at the event focused on arbitration in specialized domains, appointment of arbitrators in ad hoc and institutional arbitration in India, recent developments in the legal landscape and emerging trends in arbitration.