To Arbitrate or not to Arbitrate?


Conflicts are intricately woven into our day-to-day lives and their inevitability is seldom questioned. Sooner or later, one would, unfortunately, find himself faced with a dispute of any nature, which could range from property-related disputes to disputes of tortious nature or personal familial as well. Taking a natural course of events, the conflict eventually paves way for a resolution.


Fortunately, those distressed have an array of avenues to help resolve conflicts. Ordinarily, the matter may be referred to traditional means of resolve, that is the court system. However, owing to the accumulation of a massive backlog of pending cases, the dispute in question may be lost in the court system like a needle in a haystack.


An advanced alternative to the traditional framework of resolving disputes is an Alternative to Dispute Resolution. This avenue is a confidential means of resolving disputes that operate outside court systems. Instead of a courthouse setting, the dispute is managed seamlessly in a private setting, based on following a predetermined course. Arbitration is conducted in the presence of an independent tribunal, which could take the form of an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators, who towards the end may declare an award that is binding upon the parties in 157 countries across the world by the membership of the New York Convention.


Arbitration bequeaths many benefits: it comes across as a faster and cheaper means of resolving disputes, which averts the need for prolonged court procedures and hefty amounts of money being drained in the litigation process.


Arbitration is the need of the hour.


Expansion of international business as a by-product of globalization has birthed international disputes. Such disputes are endangered by the restraints of jurisdiction. However, such a problem is resolved by International Arbitration as arbitration is a means of resolving beyond borders. Moreover, the specialization offered by arbitration in complex matters is unmatched. Furthermore, arbitration itself is of different types, such as Institutional, Fast track, International arbitration, and ad-hoc. Each form caters to the specialized needs of the parties, which is in contrast to what the court does as they offer a generalized procedure only.


Arbitration is also popular due to its procedural flexibility and its ability to adapt to changing times. The world recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed our outdated system, where court hearings were adjourned due to pandemic safeguards. The world could halt in its shoes, we need more adaptive mechanisms that are responsive to these sensitive times. Conflicts don’t stop, so neither should their resolutions. Arbitration is a private means that can be used regardless of changing times. Remote administration of cases by implementing secure online communication and information-sharing platforms throughout the pandemic has proven its resilience and adaptability as a strongly positioned method of dispute resolution. Arbitration emerges as a sharp tool from a toolbox of tools made dull by the pandemic. It is useful in this era of added complexity, where traditional means such as the procedural framework of the court system became redundant.


Such an approach is an insight into the future: gone are the days when the world stops when the courts stop.

Kashaf Fatima

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