Promoting an Inclusive Arbitration Landscape in India: A Path to Just Outcomes

Promoting an Inclusive Arbitration Landscape in India: A Path to Just Outcomes


The discourse surrounding arbitration has shifted its focus to the necessity of inclusion and representation due to the growing sensitivity of judicial systems globally to guaranteeing diversity. Geographical, cultural, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity should all be taken into consideration, even if the discussion of the need for diversity often begins with gender diversity. Given that India is a country with a great deal of regional, cultural, linguistic, and other diversity, it is imperative to have a varied pool of arbitrators to handle cases involving litigants from various areas. The examination of the arbitration environment in India reveals some recurring themes that are frequently cited as the main reasons for the dearth of diversity. The two most prominent features are the appointment process’s lack of openness and historical underrepresentation. Similar to arbitration, the pipeline problem is frequently mentioned as a significant contributing factor to the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles. In its most basic form, the term “pipeline” refers to the sequence of training, encounters, affiliations, and employment roles that culminate in the appointment of an arbitrator. Since the hurdles to entrance exist not only for career advancement but also from the recruitment stage, they may be much more detrimental to ethnic diversity. There are few opportunities for other arbitrators as a result of parties’ desire to nominate or select experienced arbitrators with stellar records. The CJI has referred to the current state of affairs as the “diversity paradox” because there are now fewer than 10% of Indian women arbitrators on foreign panels. The situation regarding the nomination of female arbitrators is only somewhat improved on a global scale. Different viewpoints from various cultures, backgrounds, and legal systems contribute to a more thorough knowledge of the issues at hand. Additionally, the possibility of cognitive biases affecting decision-making is reduced by a diverse arbitral tribunal.

Matter of concern

Need of diversity in arbitral tribunal for ensuring inclusivity and fairness in the decision-making process.

Present scenario

Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud has been a notable advocate for inclusion in arbitration in India. Emphasis has been given on the importance of not just diversifying the pool of potential arbitrators based on gender but also increasing the frequency with which experienced lawyers are appointed to the role of arbitrator. Recently, Vice-President of India Jagdeep Dhankhar echoed this appeal for more diversity, commenting on the CJI’s statements during the 6th ICC India Arbitration Day in New Delhi.


The goal of inclusion is to create an environment in which people from all backgrounds and cultures are welcomed, treated fairly, and accepted in their culture. Professional, cultural, and gender diversity are all incorporated into the purview of an inclusive legal system. Diversity is more than just symbolic gestures; in order to create an inclusive arbitration environment, stakeholders must become more aware of the need to eliminate prejudices and take deliberate, proactive measures to eliminate blind spots.

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Written By- Shreyasi Ghatak






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