NEW DELHI: To make India a hub of mediation and arbitration, the Ministry of Law and Justice will include Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practices and techniques in law schools’ curriculum.
The ministry is also mooting for collaboration with foreign law schools and universities and experts in mediation to conduct lectures and courses on mediation practice and techniques.“Lack of awareness at the student level translates into lack of conviction in mediation as an advocate, which must be addressed,” a law ministry official said. The law school curriculum on ADR mechanisms will educate students by optimally combining theoretical understanding of mediation with practical simulations and role play sessions.
The suggestions were part of a study by Vidhi, Centre for Legal Policy for the Centre. It recommended, “Training and education of law students serves a twin-objective—it ensures familiarity with the mediation process from an early stage, allowing emerging lawyers to consider mediation as a full-time career, and ensures that prospective lawyers and mediators are not introduced to the process of mediation belatedly, after law school, only upon entering the legal profession.”
“A comprehensive curriculum must be prepared to train students of law in the fundamentals of the mediation process, role of mediation as an ADR mechanism, and some practical simulations involving role playing as mediators,” says the report submitted to the ministry. The ministry is also planning to train existing and prospective judges about fundamentals of mediation to improve their understanding of its role as an ADR mechanism, and to train them for their role in preparing parties for mediation. The study also recommended that Chief Justices of all High Courts should enforce a rigorous training framework for all judges in courts within their respective jurisdictions and should also monitor programmes focussing on continued training of judges.