Arbitration Reform in India: Challenges and Opportunities
From The Developing World of Arbitration, Weixia Gu and Anselmo Reyes, eds. Hart Publishing (Forthcoming)
30 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2017 Last revised: 4 May 2020
Date Written: December 15, 2017
India has all the makings of a regional standard-bearer for international commercial arbitration. It was one of the very early adopters of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration and only the seventh nation-state to ratify the New York Convention. Yet India has seen remarkably little tangible progress toward arbitration reform. Even Indian parties and counsel appear uniformly reluctant to choose India as a seat for international commercial arbitration, and despite a positive shift in judicial attitudes since 2012 India still seems unable to shake its reputation as an ‘arbitration-unfriendly’ jurisdiction.
This chapter will survey the legal and regulatory framework of arbitration in India and attempt to discern underlying patterns and dynamics that have so far impeded meaningful reform. It will also showcase recent initiatives, such as the passage of the 2015 Amendment to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, and raise questions about their efficacy and impact into the future. The chapter concludes with some recommendations for improving the international commercial arbitration landscape in India.
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