American mediators teach India new tricks

Mediators in the US are gearing up to start training courses at India's new International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR).

The training will be provided by the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, part of Pepperdine University's school of law in California.

Tim Pownal, associate director of the institute, said the Asian Development Bank had commissioned the courses, which would be conducted by attorneys or judges who were practising mediators and experienced teachers.

ICADR secretary general Dr Patibandla Rao said the first training sessions were expected in August.

Rao, who is also law secretary to the government of India, said the ICADR had established a permanent New Delhi office this month and hoped branch offices would eventually be established in each state. “We want to have cases spread in all parts of the country,” he said.

“The aim is to professionalise the arbitration and conciliation movement in India.

“Today, you don't have professional training imparted to the arbitrators and conciliators, but we want people to be properly trained before they undertake those functions.”

He said the ICADR was an independent, non-profit organisation which would handle international commercial disputes and the full range of domestic civil cases. It would have three wings, covering mediation, training and research.