The conference’s fourth edition was organised in Dubai by the Indian Council of Arbitration Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The globalised world demands embracing a dispute redressal mechanism that is fair to everyone, Hon’ble Chief Justice of India told the ‘Arbitration in the Era of Globalisation’ conference in Dubai on Saturday.

N.V. Ramana was speaking at the international conference’s fourth edition organised by the Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA).

“Fairness demands a platform where both parties get an equal say in the resolution of their dispute. This is where international arbitration comes into play. Arbitration is the best suited dispute resolution mechanism for the globalised world,” said Ramana.

The Chief Justice added: “Parties should be confident that an award rendered by a tribunal in one nation will be executable in another, without any hassle. To meet this goal, nations around the world have attempted to create effective structural mechanisms. Efforts were made to ensure that arbitration becomes a popular mode of dispute resolution. To increase the faith of parties on the arbitration framework of a nation, adequate statutory backing regarding enforcement of awards is necessary. Interim measures of protection are also important.”

He continued: “There has been a rapid growth in the world trade in the past four decades and the trend suggests that it will grow further. Advancements in the field of science and technology, easier travel and faster communications have turned the world into a global village. At the same time, the enhanced inter-dependence also makes us vulnerable. Crisis in one part of the world often creates ripples in other parts and can affect the global supply chain.”

Rising trade

In his address, Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to UAE, said: “India and the UAE trade clocked about $60 billion in the pre-COVID times, and we expect it to rise up to $100 billion in the next five years. Enhanced trade flows and new opportunities will be followed by larger investment flows. The environment of enhanced trade and investments may give rise to disputes. As a result, a cost-effective, time-saving mechanism is required to settle these disputes.”

He added: “Over the past few years, there have been some notable developments in arbitration in the Middle East. The growth in the economy and trade of the UAE has brought with it an increase in dispute resolution offerings. Parties are willing to have disputes resolved with the mechanism of arbitration. Similarly, the arbitration ecosystem in India has benefitted from range of steps taken by the government. It is a matter of encouragement for the foreign investor community that arbitral awards are less challenged.”

Subhrakant Panda, Senior Vice President, FICCI, and Managing Director, India Metals and Ferro Alloys Ltd., highlighted the work of ICA and FICCI’s association with the Council over the years. “The arbitration ecosystem of India has been a redeeming feature and has witnessed significant growth,” said Panda.

N G Khaitan, President, ICA, and Senior Partner, Khaitan & Co., also highlighted the activities, efforts of ICA over the years and the importance of this global conference in enabling the progress of India.

Arun Chawla, Director-General, FICCI, and Advisor, ICA, said: “A supportive yet non-interventional approach to arbitration is the universally agreed key to inspire confidence in the global business community. The judiciary, being one of the four legs of the great Indian democracy can strengthen and facilitate this process.”

The conference highlighted the increasing relevance and impact of arbitration, particularly with regard to international commercial arbitration in global landscape of dispute resolution. The conference also saw sessions on Challenges in Cross Border Disputes: Way Forward, Navigating AI & Technology Disputes via Arbitration, MED-ARB: Developing an International Model, and International Arbitration: Its Interplay with Civil and Common Law.

The day-long event also saw participation from Hon’ble Justice L. Nageswara Rao, Judge, Supreme Court of India; Hon’ble Dr Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Judge, Supreme Court of India; and Hon’ble Ms Justice Jima Kohli, Judge, Supreme Court of India; who joined virtually.

Industry leaders including, Daniel Wilmot, Partner, Stewarts Law, London; Ganesh Chandru, Partner, Dua Associates; Pinky Anand, Sr. Advocate and Former Additional Solicitor General of India; Vyapak Desai, Head, International Dispute Resolution and Investigation; Nishith Desai Associate, India; among others also participated in the conference.

The ICA was established in 1965 as a specialised arbitral body at the national level under the initiatives of the Government of India and apex business organisations such as the FICCI.