Arbitration institutions should not be controlled by self-perpetrating cliques: CJI Chandrachud

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CJI spoke on the topic, "Law and Practice of commercial arbitration: Shared understandings and developments in UK and India"

Yesterday, the Chief Justice of India delivered a speech at the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, wherein he has said now is the time for countries such as India to step up to the occasion to create and promote a culture of commercial arbitration.

"I firmly believe that now is the time for countries such as India to step up to the occasion to create and promote a culture of commercial arbitration. The robust institutionalization of arbitration will further the culture of arbitration in the Global South...", the CJI said.

While adding that in recent years, institutions such as the India International Arbitration Centre and Mumbai and Delhi International Arbitration Centers have been set up and are seeing a steady flow of arbitration matters, Justice DY Chandrachud has clarified that the mere creation of institutions is not sufficient and it has to be ensured that these new institutions are not controlled by a self- perpetrating clique.

"Transparency and accountability, values by which the work of conventional courts is assessed and critiqued, cannot be alien to the world of arbitration. Arbitral institutions are uniquely placed to co-operate with other arbitral institutions around the world to adopt best international practices and procedures. This will create a global convergence of arbitral procedures, creating more uniform institutional rules and structures. I hope the Indian arbitral institutions emulate the success of their global counterparts in the years to come...", CJI added.

Citing his twenty-four years old experience in the art of judging, the CJI said that he may sound old-fashioned in hoping that technology does not replace the essential function of adjudication.
"An arbitrator’s assessment of the demeanour of a witness, however human and subject to failings is essential to the process.  Arbitrating commercial disputes is a complex task which cannot be reduced to a mathematical formulation. It requires a touch and feel of the human mind to understand and process the submissions in arriving at a just decision. With the pace at which technology is proceeding, my views on this may well be revisited in time...", he said.
The President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Lord Reed; Deputy President, Lord Hodge, and various Justices of the Supreme Court were present for the CJI's address.