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Emergency Arbitration and its provisions in India

What is Emergency Arbitration

Emergency Arbitration (EA) is one of the latest development in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution and was first formally introduced to the world by the International Centre by Dispute Resolution and the International Arm of American Arbitration Association. But the concept of EA has been lying around from quite some time.

The Emergency Arbitration generally applies when the parties to the dispute are need of urgent interim orders to safeguard some of their assets from damage and cannot wait for the formation of an official Arbitration Tribunal. Usually the parties appoint a neutral arbitrator (called Emergency Arbitrator) where the interim order passed by him is only valid till a particular time. This practise is used in both internationally and in domestic sphere. Emergency Arbitration becomes useful in the cases where due to domestic laws or international Arbitration constraints, there is an anticipated delay that may occur but the dispute is of such nature that this delay may cause the assets or evidence to be altered or lost.

Powers vested in Emergency Arbitrator  

The scope of authority of an Emergency arbitrator is limited due to its nature and responsibility. The Emergency Arbitrator can exercise following functions:

  • It is the duty of the Emergency Arbitrator to make an appointment with the parties as soon as possible.
  • Such appointment should stand on the basis of natural justice and hence provide equal opportunity to both the parties of dispute to be hear. There is no constraint of medium of communication and the proceeding can establish discussion through call conferencing, or even a written submission
  • To provide the interim order as fast as he/she can, the arbitrator is not required to conduct a thorough discussion but can pass an interim order on the basis of some basic clarifications and the written submission made by the parties.
  • There I no specific time-limit as they can vary from place to place and tie but a general Emergency Arbitration takes almost 10-11 days to complete the procedure.
  • An Emergency Arbitration orders nullify after the Arbitration tribunal is set up and its order can be revised or reviewed by the Arbitration Tribunal.
  • The power of Emergency Arbitrator in reference to this interim order is in correlation to the power of an arbitration tribunal.


Provisions of Emergency Arbitration in India

In India, the practise of Emergency Arbitration has yet not taken its root and has no legal sanction to it. The law commission had in his Report no. 246 Amendments to Arbitration and Conciliation Act suggested that legal recognition should be provided by India related to Emergency Arbitration and the interim relief provided by them should be enforceable. But the suggestion made by law commission has yet not been enforced. After the 2015 amendment to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 Emergency Arbitration of domestic nature have gain legal sanction but international Emergency Arbitration have yet to achieve this status. Some notable Indian Arbitration do provide the option of Emergency Arbitration in their regulations which are enforceable in the court of law.

The emergence of Emergency Arbitration in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution is a new revolution which refforms the process and makes it a lot speedier, cost efficient, and reliable.

  • What is Emergency Arbitration
  • Powers vested in Emergency Arbitrator
  • Provisions of Emergency Arbitration in India

BY : Kopal Bansal

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