Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said that for moving away from the tag of being called an old boys’ club, the arbitration space must provide same opportunity to everyone men or women.
It was said by the Chief Justice while he was delivering a keynote address at the inaugural session of the Delhi Arbitration Weekend which was organised by the Delhi International Arbitration Centre (DIAC).
In his speech, he emphasized on the relevance of fostering diversity in the arbitration space.
The CJI DY Chandrachud said that the experiential learning which a gender-diverse arbitral pool would bring to the process must also be thought.
Chief Justice of India also shared his suggestions on how we can improve the arbitration regime in India.
The CJI said that all parties must appoint lawyers as arbitrators more frequently, noting that sometimes, more promising candidates are overlooked in favour of more established names.
The Chief Justice said that the retired judges of courts have been doing great work in the arbitration space, but at the same time we cannot look only to retired judges while appointing arbitrators. He added that there are more promising candidates who are overlooked in favour of a more established name, and this leads to the faulty perception that India does not have as many qualified arbitrators as it requires.
Justice Chandrachud added that all the stakeholders must work to ensure that arbitration does not remain the choice of dispute resolution only for parties with large commercial ventures, but for the e small businesses as well.
He added that we should encourage the individuals to include arbitration clauses in their contracts.
The CJI also urged for incorporating technology and virtual hearings in the arbitral process.
The CJI said that due to the virtual hearing, there would be lowering down of cost, which would make it easy to have arbitrators and parties join.
CJI also suggested that time taken to reach a venue is limited and it would be great if DIAC drafts a protocol on virtual arbitration proceedings which is tailored to the Indian context in mind.
The CJI also shared that he was not a particular votary of the idea that all judicial intervention is negative.
He added that while some prefer a self-effacing judiciary as opposed to an interventionist one in this area, but courts ought to play an important role in assuring an effective arbitration ecosystem by stepping in to protect independence and impartiality of the process.
CJI said that the courts can serve as effective supporters of the arbitration universe.
The CJI pointed out on the topic of party autonomy, that the Supreme Court had been emphasising on the same, since it was the core of arbitration. He however highlighted the importance of institutional arbitration in this regard.
.The session was also attended by Delhi High Court Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma who spoke that dispute resolution was not the discovery of this century and had roots in ancient times when village councils used to resolve disputes.
Another prominent person who spoke on this was Justice Vibhu Bakhru who said that the new rules of the Delhi International Arbitration Centre included a scrutiny of the draft award and will improve quality of awards emanating from the centre.