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Origin of ADR across the globe

Origin of ADR across the globe

To trace the roots of ADR, we should look at our anthropological and sociological studies to have an idea about how early humans may have resolved disputes without the use of fists, clubs, or spear-arrows. Many of the following ways are quite different from the modern techniques of dispute resolution. Nevertheless, these modern techniques have come into existence because of these primitive ways.

Hawaiian Highlanders

Hawaiian Highlanders of Polynesian ancestry used their own traditional system for an amicable resolution of disputes. It involved a family’s coming together to discuss interpersonal problems under the guidance of a leader. The leader of the session is a person both sides revere and therefore, leads the session and has the role of a mediator. After hearing out both sides and attempting to get at the crux of the matter, the leader works to bring out a solution.

Mediation in China

China embraced Mediation quite early because of its conservative opinions about the resolution of disputes, which have originated from Confucian ethics.  Confucius told that harmony should not be disrupted and adversarial proceedings were the antithesis of harmony. Given the emphasis on harmony, Chinese mediators have played quite a far-reaching role. Chinese mediators do more than solving and settling disputes, they also guide the parties on how to have a more harmonious relationship in the future.

Ancient Greek roots of Arbitration

In the Western world, the story of ADR can be traced back to the ancient Greeks. One famous story of arbitration comes down through mythology. The procedure of arbitration set up by the Greeks was surprisingly formal. A lottery was used to choose an arbitrator for a given case. His foremost duty was to attempt to have an amicable settlement between the parties. If this didn't work out, then witnesses would be called and evidence was submitted in writing by the parties. Having said that, the parties often adopted various stratagems to postpone rulings or challenge the decision of the arbitrator. An appeal would be brought before the Arbitrators, who would further refer the matter to the courts. In such an appeal, Demosthenes had once alleged that one Midias had used discourteous language towards Demosthenes. This outcome may seem like a setback at a very early age but also be seen as a self-policing mechanism. A traditional later upheld the board’s censure of the arbitrator. The system, it seemed, had worked.

  • Hawaiian Highlanders
  • Mediation in China
  • Ancient greek roots of Arbitration

BY : Astha Dhawan

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