The Indian government has called on UK mediators as it attempts to clear a backlog of 29 million disputes that are clogging up its court system.
It is expected that the move will allow UK lawyers to join India’s International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR), taking India’s legal sector a step closer to liberalisation.
UK mediators from the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (Cedr) will train Indian lawyers to Western standards and provide a business plan for ICADR.
Cedr director of consulting Graham Massie, who is co-leading the World Bank-funded initiative, said the project was aimed at reducing India’s “phenomenal backlog”, which includes almost 46,000 cases pending in the Supreme Court alone, and also to give ICADR the know-how to work on the international stage.
“I can envisage a time when ICADR will have a panel of mediators and that will include international mediators and lawyers,” said Massie. “Mediation is the easiest form of ADR to introduce as it doesn’t constitute the practice of law.”