For long some Asian countries have dominated the space of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and India could not perform well on this front despite a sound judicial system and qualified lawyers and Arbitrators. There are many reason why India could not excel in ADR field. The chief among them is that there is very little focus upon institutional arbitration in India and a majority of arbitration proceeding in India are managed at individual level. We are not saying that there are no institutional arbitration centres in India. What we are saying is that these institutions failed to create confidence among global stakeholders that institutional arbitration can be managed in India with qualitative results.
There was a policy vaccum in this regard until the Modi Government took a bold step in 2019. It enacted The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Ordinance, 2019 and later on converted it into The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Act, 2019 (Pdf). So now we have a policy and regulatory framework that is promoting, regulating and encouraging institutional arbitration in India, along with many more pro active policies and decisions. Now the next logical step of Indian Government should be to encourage Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in India on a Public Private partnership (PPP) model.
So how is Indian Government promoting ODR and LegalTech projects in India? It is doing that in a style and very encouraging manner i.e. by recognising LegalTech entities like TeleLaw Private Limited (TPL), PTLB Projects LLP, etc as startups. For instance, both TPL and PTLB Projects have been recognised as technology and LegalTech startups by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and MeitY Startup Hub. In fact, the Resolve Without Litigation (RWL), which is a project managed by both TPL and PTLB Projects, has been separately recognised as a LegalTech and tech startup by MeitY. So Government is encouraging private entities to work upon LegalTech and technology driven solutions and may join the journey at a later stage.
We request Indian Government to support us in the fields of institutional arbitration and ODR. We have launched the TPL and PTLB Projects startups with the aim to make India a Global Hub for ODR and Techno Legal Services. But for that we need active support of Indian Government, Indian Companies and Indian investors. Let us together create the history in the field of ODR.