"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well."

-Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Arbitration News

NLSIU and NUJS are reportedly in talks with arbitral institutions to set up courses for training students and others in arbitration. These institutions must be congratulated for taking steps towards creation of arbitral infrastructure (especially in terms of supply of competent and most importantly, honest, commercial arbitrators). However, it would do well if even the judges (who also form a part of the arbitral infrastructure) are trained in the principles of commercial arbitration. If we had adequate and competent arbital infrastructure, the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 might have worked.

P.S. I use the term 'arbitral infrastructure' to mean the participants, concepts, laws, rules, regulations, institutional rules etc that form a part of, or is involved, in the mechanism of arbitration as a means of settlement of commercial disputes. This would also include, inter alia, the judiciary (which performs supervisory and complementary functions vis-a-vis arbitration) arbitrators, arbitral institutions and their rules, the arbitration law and so on. (See, Gillian Hadfield, Law for a Flat World: Legal Infrastructure and the New Economy, where Hadfield introduces the concept of 'legal infrastructure'. Hadfield seems to restrict the meaning of the term to what the legal actors produce.)

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