The Indian legal system has undergone significant changes in the last decade, especially in the arbitration and dispute resolution sectors. However, much remains to be done to improve the efficiency and competency of Indian courts and arbitration institutions. In this article, we will explore the suggestions made by experts to improve the Indian legal system.
How can the Indian legal system improve the competency of its judges?
According to experts, the Indian legal system needs more specialist judges. They suggest that Indian amicus curiae, expert lawyers or advocates who have no interest in the outcome, should be invited to assist the courts in all important cases, especially at the state level. The High Courts, in particular, should adopt this practice for important cases that they hear or cases that break new ground. By doing so, the courts will arrive at better-informed decisions and inspire greater confidence in the Indian legal system.
How can the Indian legal system improve the efficiency of the appeal process?
Experts suggest that the length of the appeal process needs to be addressed. The appeal process is currently better in relation to commercial and international arbitration cases than other cases. To promote the ease of doing business in India, the courts could publish the timelines they take to adjudicate on such matters and religiously observe them.
How can the Indian legal system expedite matters on enforcement and setting aside court decisions?
Experts suggest designating a few High Courts with the greatest commercial experience as specialist arbitration courts. Only these courts would deal with matters on enforcement and setting aside court decisions. The stakes can be very high in such cases, and it would build international confidence if parties know that only specialist judges hear such matters on a fast track. Competency and efficiency are the two key factors parties are looking for in the dispute resolution process.
How can the Indian legal system improve its institutional arbitration infrastructure?
India has about 35 different arbitration centers, and different states express their interest in creating an international arbitration center every other year. Experts suggest that national interests ought to come before state interests, and the institutional landscape needs to be carefully assessed. Instead of having a number of centers competing with each other, institutional arbitration infrastructure should be boosted. It is also important that arbitration institutions are seen as being independent of the courts when it comes to international arbitration, which is essential for perception and building trust.
How can the Indian legal system increase its representation in international arbitration institutions?
According to experts, Indian lawyers are now attracting some of the best Indian minds in the legal profession, especially in the international arbitration space. However, in some areas such as complex areas of intellectual property, Indian lawyers may not have sufficient expertise. The goal should be to become counsel of choice for foreign parties and compete with the best international firms. Experts suggest that India needs to be better represented in institutions and institutionalized arbitration. In the next decade or so, a number of Indian lawyers will evolve into global thought leaders and hold thought leadership positions in global arbitration institutions.
In conclusion, improving the efficiency and competency of Indian courts and arbitration institutions is essential to promote the ease of doing business in India and build international confidence in the Indian legal system. The suggestions made by experts are practical and can be implemented with a clear roadmap for institutionalization and independence of the arbitration institutions.