A Shift to ADR in Global Pandemic
In this count, when whole world is enduring through a Global Pandemic and the governments are muddled to compute different diminishing factors of the virus. Travel restrictions are to impose, non- essential businesses to slam and whole country is under lockdown following the norms of social distancing. While the world is concerned about mitigating the spread of the virus, these actions are having an immense, devastating and cataclysmic effects on every sector such as industries, private sector, public sector as well as construction. The spoliation is not restricted to business but reached out to the individuals and their Right to Livelihood. The migrants and private employees become the aim of this lockdown for spoliation.
In this changing era of pandemic when the laws are not stable and cannot be enforced in appropriate manner and the court mechanism is not functional. The COVID- 19 outbreak has thrown pull into the proceedings. It will no longer be a quick- witted proceed to file a case in the court of law for trivial matters which can be settled through Alternative Dispute mechanism. The parties have to give credence to the circumstances and opt for the finer recourse to their disputes. We all are trapped in unchartered waters and how this virus will shape the proceedings is unknown. Many cases in the courts have been adjourned or delayed and filling of new cases cannot be afforded for a long period of time. Reasons why we should go for alternative dispute resolution in place of filling fresh cases in the courts are many fold:
- Less time taking
- Safer environment and less contact to people following social distancing
- Easy access to the centres
- Less trouble in submitting disputes
- Avoiding delays and adjournments due to the suspension of judicial proceedings
- Easy recourse to the disputes
- No sudden obstruction to the proceedings
- Mutually accepted award
- Using the tools that are already tested and easier to implement
- Cost efficiency
- Party autonomy
- Reduces stress and access to justice in this global pandemic
Moreover, the COVID- 19 led to the nationwide lockdown which led the circumstances highly uncertain as well as substantial market instability worldwide thus commercial pressures on persons can lead to unnecessary increase in disputes. If all persons start filling their disputes in the courts, it will disturb the process of the courts. Hence, in these circumstances, mediation, arbitration or conciliation becomes the most effective recourse. These are the tools that could be used by the lawyers or parties to the dispute to mitigate the negative effects arising from the situation we are in. Moreover, it will bring ease to the parties by saving their time.
Hence, by all above counts, I think that the appropriate use of Alternative dispute Resolution mechanism could assist to settle the disputes remotely, but also after the pandemic ends and everything will be normalized, it will reduce the number of fresh cases and ultimately in some part succour the court to get to the normal functioning as soon as possible.