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“Young Indian Practioners Have The Potential To Be Global Thought Leaders In International Arbitration” V.K. Rajah, SC Former Attorney General And Former Judge, Singapore SC

23 Feb 2023 4:29 AM GMT
“Young Indian Practioners Have The Potential To Be Global Thought Leaders In International Arbitration” V.K. Rajah, SC Former Attorney General And Former Judge, Singapore SC

21st February, 2023

The International Arbitration Mediation Centre, Hyderabad organized a discussion on “How efficient ADR processes contribute to the common good and the role of institutional arbitration in this matrix” in collaboration with Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. The event witnessed one of the leading arbitrators in the world. Mr. VK Rajah, SC former Attorney General of Singapore and Former Judge, Court of Appeal, Singapore Supreme Court as the special guest, Sri K.T. Rama Rao, Minister for Information Technology, Industries & Commerce, Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Government of Telangana, Justices, Ujjal Bhuyan, Chief Justice for the High Court for the State of Telangana and Justice L Nageswara Rao, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India as panellists. The participants were judges from the High Court, senior arbitrators, members from various tribunals and regulatory bodies, senior advocates, and stakeholders from various industries.

Mr. Tariq Khan, Registrar IAMC, Hyderabad delivered the welcome address, taking participants through IAMC, Hyderabad’s one year journey and stressed on the fact that a protocol has been developed to resolve disputes pertaining to MSME’s.

Justice Ujjal Bhuyan noted IAMC’s efforts to establish itself as a global centre domestically and internationally. He noted that today businesses in India are still in the shadow of the government and when they come out of the same, they will truly embrace institutional arbitration. The same will strengthen economy and contribute to good governance. By way of example, he mentioned Mr. V.K. Rajah's interim award in Amazon Future Retail emergency arbitration, which was affirmed by the Supreme Court of India, further building confidence in India as an arbitration friendly jurisdiction and that it will help reduce backlog of cases seeking interim reliefs before courts.

Sri K.T. Rama Rao, Minister for IT and Commerce, Govt. of Telangana stressed that the focus should be on the MSME sectors. He also highlighted the need for speedier dispute resolution for the industries and offered all the support necessary to achieve the same.

Noting that promotion of arbitration culture is a two-way street, Mr. VK Rajah recommended IAMC set targets and publish them in terms of timelines and appointments, noting that when the business community knows these are the standards set, things will fall in place. He said it is unfortunate for Indian companies to choose foreign seated arbitrations and stressed on the need to treat domestic firms and institutions such as IAMC as national assets. He suggested that a way to nurture such domestic talent would be a world class LLM course in India.

Within the Indian context there is certainly space for two or three arbitration centres, with each playing to its strengths, for example in Hyderabad the resolution of disputes in Pharma and Tech sectors. Looking at the advances made by Indians in the technology and banking sectors, recently, Mr Rajah expressed every confidence, that if given the right support, young Indian arbitration practitioners today will be global thought leaders in international arbitration in the next 10-15 years.

Justice LN Rao noted that a change in the mindset of lawyers is needed and that parties accept arbitral awards and not challenging them. To make mediation really kick off in India he proposed that the introduction of mediation clause’s in public contracts by the Government to lead the way. The enforcement of contracts and awards should be focused on with specialised courts like commercial courts with trained judges.

The fireside chat was moderated by Mr. Lomesh Kiran Nidumuri, Disputes Head South India, Cyril Amarchand Mangalas.

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