Fali Nariman on arbitration: Harmony Amidst Disharmony: The Indian Framework

Editor | Non-fiction
Over the last hundred years, the law of arbitration in India has undergone a sea change. The present Arbitration Series– Volume 1 contains Fali S. Nariman’s exposition, along with his expert comments, on the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (updated by the Parliament in 2015 and amended again in July 2019). It includes citations of all relevant and binding case laws.
The novelty of the 1996 Act is in its framework—it is divided into four distinct and independent parts. Part I contains an adaptation of most of the provisions of the UNCITRAL Model Law of 1985, governing domestic arbitration (including “International Commercial Arbitration”) and where the place of arbitration is in India.
Along with it is Part IA (added only in August 2019) which contains detailed provision for the setting up of an Arbitration Council of India, entrusted primarily with the task of grading arbitral institutions and accrediting arbitrators. Part II sets out (in statute-form) material provisions of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Awards 1958, to which India has been an original signatory ever since 1960.
Part III of the Act (conciliation) reproduces, almost verbatim, the provisions of the UNCITRAL Rules of Conciliation of 1980. The last part of the Act—Part IV—deals with Supplemental Provisions; but attached to the Act are now as many as eight Schedules which form an integral part of the law.
About the author
Fali S. Nariman is a senior advocate, Supreme Court of India. He was inducted as a member of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) from 1988 to 2003 and functioned as vice-president of the ICC Court of International Arbitration, Paris, from 1989 to 2005. He was elected president of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) from 1994 to 2002, and since then has been designated its honorary president. Awarded the Padma Bhushan in January 1991 for recognition of “distinguished services in the field of jurisprudence”, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan (India’s second highest civilian award) in January 2007, for recognition of “exceptional and distinguished services in the field of public affairs”. He served as a nominated member of the Upper House of India’s Parliament from 1999 to 2005.

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