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Shyam Divan speaking on Indian Arbitrators in the Global forums and much more about Arbitration Law
Calling for the adoption of an approach which is consistent with global norms, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan remarked that when parties refer their dispute to an arbitration forum, it should be the end of the case and the award should not be set aside unless in the rarest of rare cases.
Senior Advocate Shyam Divan was speaking on the theme 'Evolution of Arbitration Law In India' at a Webinar hosted by National Law University, Odisha with The CAN Foundation.
Justice Indu Malhotra, Judge, Supreme Court of India delivered the keynote address.
Prof. (Dr.) Srikrishna Deva Rao, Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, Odisha delivered the welcome address.
In his address, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan spoke at length on the need of minimal judicial interference and urged the courts to look away in cases of individual injustices.
He explained that the moment a "the door is opened even a little", there will be several cases before the High Courts for judicial review of arbitral awards, trying to wedge the "little exception" wider.
"We failed in 1940 Act to limit it.. I think the language in the 1996 Act was clear that you, the courts, have very limited roles but the cases came up..", Senior Advocate Divan said.
Senior Advocate Shyam Divan also spoke on arbitration being the only option for persons who want quick commercial dispute resolution.
While emphasizing on the high level of effort which goes in preparing witness statement, pleading and arguments in an International Arbitration as opposed to a domestic arbitration, Senior Advocate Divan called for transcription of proceedings even in domestic arbitrations.
Calling the COVID-19 pandemic a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous stage, Senior Advocate Divan stated that unlike the criminal justice system, arbitrations were still going on. He nonetheless added that technological constraints were present even in developed countries.
Once you have institutional arbitration, a specialized Arbitration Bar will automatically develop, Senior Advocate Divan said in response to a query.
Responding to the question of Indian arbitrators being dominated by foreign arbitrators in International Commercial Arbitrations, Divan remarked that while some Indians have an outstanding reputation in the international arena, some are "completely unfamiliar".
"Here, one must, I'm sorry to say, blame the Government of India because in a large number of high-stake public sector kind of arbitration, I have seen the kind of orders, transcripts and the conduct of the appointed arbitrator and it is really, really unfortunate. And that it what gives you a very poor name and standing", he said.
Stating that conducting an arbitration was a learning process for all, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan added,
He ultimately remarked that commanding control over an arbitration in international arbitration required very hard work.
Watch the full seminar here: