Aligarh Muslim University: Faculty of Law organises online International conference

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Aligarh: The Law Society, Faculty of Law, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Arbitration and Mediation Center, New Delhi organised the first International Virtual Conference in the University on ‘Globalization of Justice Through Alternative Dispute Resolution- ADR’ in which experts delineated how national and international legislators and organisations are increasingly offering citizens with the opportunity to resolve disputes outside courts.

Inaugurating the virtual conference, AMU Vice Chancellor Prof Tariq Mansoor pointed out that ADR is based on Gandhian principles as Mahatma Gandhi encouraged solving disputes without litigation.

Speaking on the wide spectrum of ADR, Prof Mansoor said that mediation through the ADR process can be understood as a process where an impartial third-party is appointed to facilitate structured negotiation between disputing parties to help them reach a mutually agreeable settlement.

He gave the example of the Ayodhya dispute and pointed out that the Supreme Court appointed mediators to settle it.

“In Indian context, the Lok Adalat plays a very important role in resolving the disputes at village level,” said the Vice Chancellor.

“The ADR process delivers justice in an amicable manner through special communication, negotiation and social skills to assist the disputants in arriving at a mutually acceptable solution themselves,” said Prof M Shakeel Ahmad Samdani, Dean, Faulty of Law, while presiding over the conference.

Discussing ADR objectives, Prof Samdani emphasised that this process is not to evaluate guilt or innocence but to promote understanding, making the disputed parties focus on their interests and encouraging them to reach their agreements.

Mr Jeff Kichaven, Mediator, Los Angeles, USA delineated the globally followed mechanism of mediation and how it saves time.

“There is no formal procedure, no cross examination, no biases and the parties are free to negotiate on their terms and conditions,” said Mr Kichaven.

He also spoke on the increase in online mediation after the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mr Fahmi Shahab, Director, PMN Mediation Centre, Indonesia discussed the powers and duties of a mediator.

He said that it is the duty of the mediator to educate the parties about the issues and help them in reaching a solution and also to make sure that the disputed parties do not breach the outcome of the mediation.

Arbitrator, mediator and Brazil based attorney, Prof Gustavo Milare Almeida said that the relevance of ADR is increasing in various parts of Brazil.

“Family and commercial disputes in Brazil are being solved through mediations and the Government is putting efforts to develop an efficient ADR mechanism,” added Prof Almeida.

Ms Iram Majid, Director, Indian Institute of Arbitration and Mediation spoke on how justice is achieved globally through ADR.

“With no jurisdictional limits in ADR, parties can choose laws of their own choice,” she said adding that peace building can be done through dialogue, mediation and reconciliation.

Ms Iram also discussed how mediation and arbitration is becoming the new normal to deliver justice during the Covid 19 Pandemic.

Prof Zaheeruddin, Chairman, Department of Law extended the vote of thanks and Prof Wasim Ali delivered the welcome address. Mr Mohammad Nasir moderated the question and answers session.

Abdullah Samdani, Secretary, Law Society conducted the conference, while Ayesha Nasir Alawi, Joint Editor, Law Society gave brief introduction of the guests.