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Justice Hima Kohli praises Mediation Act, 2023 as a Watershed Moment in Indian Legal History

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Published on: 25 September 2023 at 00:20 IST

Justice Hima Kohli, a judge in the Supreme Court, stated that ‘The Mediation Act, 2023′ represents a pivotal moment in Indian legal history, signifying the collective desire for a more efficient, harmonious, and less adversarial approach to dispute resolution.

During a technical session on “Alternate Dispute Resolution in International Transactions” at the ‘International Lawyers’ Conference 2023,’ organized by the Bar Council of India (BCI), Justice Kohli emphasized that while no single approach can address all legal challenges, the 2023 Act is a promising addition to the legal toolkit, promoting dialogue over discord.

“A watershed moment in the Indian legal landscape is the Mediation Act, 2023,” Justice Kohli asserted, highlighting that it provides autonomy to parties to creatively resolve their differences, thereby preserving relationships and saving time and resources.

In recent years, India has made significant progress in establishing itself as a reliable and trustworthy partner in arbitration and mediation services, she noted. Despite occasional challenges, the judiciary’s commitment to finalizing arbitral awards and fostering a pro-enforcement regime will boost India’s transformation into an international arbitration hub.

Justice Kohli underlined the judiciary’s approach to safeguarding the integrity of arbitral awards and respecting party autonomy, which is evident in several landmark Supreme Court judgments.

Courts in India are increasingly refraining from intervening in the merits of arbitral awards unless compelled by compelling circumstances as prescribed by law.

“By limiting judicial intervention, respecting party autonomy, and upholding the finality of arbitral awards, Indian courts have contributed to enhancing India’s reputation as a favorable venue for dispute resolution. This judicial philosophy aligns with legislative reforms and supports India’s aspiration to become a global arbitration hub,” stated Justice Kohli.

Justice acknowledged the rapidly changing global landscape due to globalization, leading to increased cross-border commercial transactions and complex disputes that affect both parties and the global community.

To tackle these challenges, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has become a powerful tool for businesses, with mediation as an essential component.

Justice Kohli, drawing from her judicial experience, highlighted the potency of mediation in facilitating mutually beneficial solutions that can avert costly and protracted litigation.

Also Read: The Mediation Act, 2023 gets President Assent – Law Insider India