To promote Alternative Dispute Resolution practices, School of Law, Hamdard Institute of Legal Studies and Research (HILSR), Jamia Hamdard inaugurated its Alternative Dispute Resolution Board (ADRB) on 26th September 2022 at the Hakeem Abdul Hameed Auditorium, Jamia Hamdard.

The inauguration was done by Hon’ble Mr. Justice M.L. Mehta, Former Judge, Delhi High Court who is also the Chairman of Delhi Dispute Redressal Society (DDRS), Advocate Tariq Khan, Registrar, International Arbitration and Mediation Centre (IAMC), Hyderabad and Ms. Iram Majid, Executive Director, Asia Pacific Centre for Arbitration & Mediation (APCAM). It was also attended by the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard, Prof. (Dr.) M. Afshar Alam, Prof (Dr.) Saleena K. Basheer, Dean, School of Law, HILSR, Jamia Hamdard, Ms. Naazish Fatima, Faculty Convener of the newly formed ADR Board (ADRB), HILSR and other faculty members.

The inauguration ceremony began with the recitation of the Holy Quran to seek the blessings of Almighty. Prof. (Dr.) Saleena K Basheer, Dean, School of Law, HILSR delivered the welcome address and also explained that justice shud be for poor. Further the Student conveners Ms. Fatima Tarique Khan and Mr. Rehan Ghalib Khan shared the achievements and journey of School of Law, HILSR, Jamia Hamdard since its inception in 2018.

Thereafter, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Prof. (Dr.) M Afshar Alam, delivered the presidential address and also extended a warm welcome to the Chief Guests thereby thanking them for accepting the invitation to grace the august gathering. He also congratulated HILSR for setting up its Alternative Dispute Resolution Board (ADRB) and talked about the progress of HILSR over the past 1 year as to how it has shown its excellence in organizing 44 events in the form of training programs, moot court competitions, workshops, legal aid awareness drives, webinars, conferences, lecture series, panel discussions and a variety of other competitions.

The official logo of the ADR Board, was also launched during the event with a ribbon cutting ceremony by the chief guests, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Dean School of Law and the Faculty convener ADRB. The logo encapsulated in it the essence of Alternative Dispute Resolution. The joining of hands represented the aim of alternative dispute resolution through the means of Mediation, Arbitration, Negotiation and Conciliation protected by the shield of law and justice, amidst the olive branches which are a symbol of peace and harmony.

After the launch of the logo, Hon’ble Justice, Mr. M.L Mehta addressed the gathering. He said “Why go to the formal court for matters such as divorce, custody of child, cruelty, domestic violence etc. when we have other methods to solve these conflicts, Courts are made for cases that are of national, constitutional or criminal importance.” Justice Mehta explained that only 24% of the people go to the court whereas the other 76% suffer at the hands of the people, and keep quiet. They suffer injustice, because they are more scared of the long procedures of the courts. Minor disputes like matrimonial disputes should be filtered at the root level before going directly to the courts. The first preference should always be given to other alternative resolution methods.

Quoting Senior Advocate Fali S.Nariman, Advocate Tariq Khan, Registrar (IAMC) said, “The future of arbitration is bright, but only because the future of litigation is not.”  Adv. Tariq Khan while emphasizing on the need for pro bono mediation and arbitration services narrated a short story, as to how lawyers in England in olden days never used to charge any fee from their clients initially, they had a pocket at the back of their gowns so that the client could put the money as per his own capacity or will.

“Arbitration and mediation go hand in hand and so does arbitration and court. It’s not that if you are doing arbitration you will not go to the court, you will have to go to the court for appointment of an arbitrator, for challenging an award, for termination of an arbitrator, for filling of an appeal etc.” He stated. Further he stressed on the fact that this is the time for specialization, for instance, arbitration in the field of technology is one road to explore. He explained about the future of metaverse and the challenges that users will encounter in the virtual world and that’s how technology will play an important role in resolving disputes arising in the metaverse where arbitration will certainly be a preferred mode of dispute resolution. In the end he encouraged the students to create healthy competitions for themselves and focus more on small details.

This was followed by a brief note by Ms. Iram Majid, Executive Director at Asia Pacific Center for Arbitration and Mediation who addressed the gathering with a beautiful couplet on the importance of truth justice and valour! She started by drawing a parable as to how, for a heart problem, the only option isn’t an open heart surgery but there are certain other medications and methods which are available as well. Similarly there are more than one tool with a lawyer, not just litigation but other dispute resolution methods. She narrated the case of a couple whose divorce had been pending for almost 27 years in the court and finally how it came to be settled in just 5 mediation sittings. She ended her note by motivating the female students stating that women must be fearless and success would automatically come their way.

The ceremony concluded with a grand vote of thanks followed by the National Anthem.

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