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Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Ancient Indian jurisprudence recognised two kinds of dispute resolution mechanisms like judicial process in the court of law established by the King and other by various categories of Arbitration Institutions.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (hereinafter referred as “ADR”) means any means of settling disputes outside the regular courts of law.It is a collective term by which the parties to any dispute can settle the issues with or without the help of a third party.

In other words, one can say that, ADR is an alternative method of settling any dispute other than by way of litigation. Alternative Dispute Resolution have an advantage of providing parties with the opportunity to resolve conflict in peaceful manner and achieve a greater sense of justice in each case.

Most common forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution are;

Negotiation: allows parties to the dispute to negotiate and settle the issues amicably. It allows the parties to settle the dispute themselves, and it gives control over the procedure to the parties.

Conciliation: means bringing two opposing sides together to reach a compromise in an attempt to avoid taking a case to trial. It is a settlement out of court, usually by the assistance of a neutral third party.

Mediation: an attempt to settle a legal dispute through active participation of a third party (called as mediator) who works to find points of agreement and make those in conflict agree on a fair result.

Arbitration: is a method of resolving disputes by way appointing an Arbitrator(s) by the parties to the dispute under the provisions of an Arbitration Agreement. It is a simplified version of trial involving limited discovery and simplified rules of evidence.

Earliest known forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution is the Panchayat system, created by the Vedic ages, where the family head OR the head of the community act as Panchayat and whose commands were believed to be the voice of God and are obeyed unquestionably.


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