Arbitration in India — A primer

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism, that aims to resolve a dispute outside of the court. In simple words, arbitration is the act of resolving a dispute through an arbitral tribunal. An arbitral tribunal can be either a sole arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators. An arbitral tribunal is a person/people who are not involved in the dispute. Either the arbitral tribunal can be mutually chosen by both parties to conduct the dispute resolution process, or their process of selection can be mutually agreed upon. In the alternative, disputing parties may delegate the task of appointing an arbitrator/arbitral tribunal to an arbitration centre such as ADReS Now.

What kind of disputes are arbitrable?

As a general rule of thumb, all commercial disputes which can be decided by a civil court, involving private rights, can be referred to arbitration. However, as per precedent laid down by the Supreme Court as well as generally accepted practices, some disputes are not referred to arbitration. The subject matter of disputes that are generally not arbitrated include but are not limited to:

Why should we choose arbitration?

· Arbitration brings down the costs of dispute resolution.

Governing Law

Arbitration in India is regulated by the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (Arbitration Act). The Arbitration Act is based on the UNCITRAL (The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) Model Law and Rules. Over the years extensive amendments were brought about in the Arbitration Act, with the major amendments being enacted in 2015, 2019, and 2021 respectively.

What are the essentials of a valid arbitration?

The Arbitration Act specifies elements essential to a valid arbitration. These are:

Types of Arbitration

Arbitration can be of two kinds:



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