Future of ODR in the Indian Landscape
On the 21st of May 2022, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Cell at the University School of Law and Legal Studies (USLLS ADR Cell) conducted a panel discussion on the topic “Future of Online Dispute Resolution in the Indian Landscape”. The panel of the event consisted of highly notable individuals in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The panel included Ms. Iram Majid, Executive Director, Asia Pacific Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (APCAM) and Ms. Shruti Sabharwal, Partner at Disputes Resolution Team, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Mr. Devashish Bharuka, Advocate-On-Record, Supreme Court of India. The event started on a warm note, as the honourable dean of the University School of Law and Legal Studies, Prof (Dr.) A P Singh gave his insights on ADR and subsequently welcomed the panelists, in light of the Dean’s Address.
The event then proceeded to a juncture wherein, the esteemed panelists, presented their observations and know-how of the field along with anecdotes from their day-to-day workings. Ms. Shruti Sabharwal spoke about how the pandemic changed the legal rigmarole of justice mechanisms across the nation and abroad. She also highlighted the issues of Online Dispute Resolution which centred around Confidentiality & Data Protection as well as the benefits of the same, with the first being efficiency, time-saving, enforceable, cost-effective, and ease of proceedings. Then, Ms. Iram Majid enlightened everyone, by providing various snippets from her work during the early lockdowns in the nation. She also appraised everyone about the difference between virtual ADR and Online Dispute Resolution along with a mention of a new concept i.e., Dispute Resolution in Digital Economy (DRDE). She then presented to the audience, a video demonstration of an app, which she is working on, the “Peace Gate App”. The app aims to make the procedure of availing of ODR services, more accessible to the common individual. Lastly, Mr. Devashish Bharuka provided his words of wisdom on the trajectory of ODR in India, in the context of the Indian Judiciary. He also touched upon the need for a wider integration of ODR and online mechanisms in the various judicial systems.
The next order of proceeding for the event was the “Youngster’s Corner” under the aegis of which the students of USLLS, presented their research on multiple facets of Online Dispute Resolution which ranged from “Nature of the disputes being resolved by the means of ODR” to “Protecting rights of parties in Cross Border ODR” but the silver line to the presentation was the showcasing of the working prototype of the “Labour Haq” app, which aims towards sensitizing the masses with respect to wages and disputes that may arise in a background of the same, in light of the new labour laws. Lastly, the highlight of the event i.e., a question-answer session that took place between the audience and the panelists. The same further culminated into a very thought-provoking and intellectually enriching discussion with regard to ODR and ADR in general. The event ended on a very cordial note, as Prof. (Dr.) Vandana Singh and Prof. (Dr.) Zubair Khan provided the panelists with a thank you note.
Resolving Disputes in the Metaverse
The paradigms of legal practice with the onslaught of coronavirus have changed. In a very short period of time, the legal system adapted to using Information Technology for resolving disputes, whether it be using video conferencing for resolving disputes or using data analytics for finding case laws. It is undeniable, that in the 21st Century we have entered into a new and radically different era of legal practice.
The next iteration of the internet which is the metaverse; a simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain is on the horizon and along with it more disruptions are imminent. We at USLLS ADR cell anticipate radical changes in the nature of dispute resolution methods and the nature of legal disputes themselves.
To better equip the new generation of lawyers for this next digital revolution. We have organized a -one-of-a-kind panel discussion which will deal with the complex and novel legal problems concerning the metaverse. We have a formidable lineup of lawyers from global and international law firms that will give their critical insights on the topic. Needless to say, the sessions will be intellectually stimulating and fun and we earnestly wish the participants benefit from them both academically and professionally.