Conciliation is one of the prominent method of Alternative Dispute Resolution prevalent in India where the parties to the dispute choose to settle their difference by not approaching the court and instead by appointing a neutral Conciliator who helps them to reach toward a settlement.
In India, the process of conciliation in today’s legal framework is gaining popularity and after the establishment of Lok Adalats, the use of conciliation as a method of dispute resolution has increased dramatically. There are many reasons that can be attributed to its growth. In contrast to other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms, its procedure is less formal in essence but are more engaging, evaluative and oriented towards the benefit and growth of the parties. some of its obvious advantage that result in its growing popularity are:
- It is a flexible procedure which can be suited to the needs of small as well as large multi-dollar disputes
- The main concern of the procedure of the conciliation is the privacy of the parties. the settle agreement, which is drawn by the conciliator in a form of resolution of dispute, is kept confidential in nature and in fact all the evidences submitted by the parties, the arguments presented, the minutes of the meetings are kept confidential and the conciliator are bound to abide by it. This extreme caution to the privacy of parties make this procedure much more alluring from the small companies to big corporates who love to keep their secrets up in their sleeves.
- The procedure of Conciliation can be terminated whenever even one of the parties feel the need of doing so. Thus, if a party to the dispute does not agree with where the procedure and settlement is heading, the conciliation can be terminated.
- The resolution of dispute unlike in arbitration is done through a settlement agreement that is signed by both parties to the dispute which will than only have a binding effect. This makes the party bound by a decision through the contractual terms and obligation unlike arbitration where an arbitral award is pronounced by the arbitrator that has the force of law. This makes the settlement procedure much more relaxed and flexible as well as gives the party a say in the final resolution of dispute.
- The process of conciliation is, as the name suggest, conciliatory in nature and thus does not create a feeling of ill will between the parties. this becomes an important issue when it comes to dispute between the companies or corporate being who work together on daily basis or family disputes etc.
- as an ADR, it is method which is cheaper and more cost effective in nature than the court proceedings. Also it is effective in the time management as it takes much less time to solve a dispute than the long drawn court battles that we all are aware of.
- There is little scope of manipulation and corruption due to the obvious transparency in the dispute resolution method.
Thus it is concluded that the process of conciliation is much preferred by parties due to its flexible, confidential and friendly nature that promotes only the better interest of parties.