The alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are largely an out of court settlement aimed at settling the dispute amicably, free from strict procedural formalities and are cost effective. Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms is a panacea to all evils affecting our legal system where due to docket explosion the justice is being done at the cost of enormous delay. This A.D.R. mechanism may ameliorate the conditions of our existing courts which are overburdened with heavy backlog. So as a result of long research it is felt that the A.D.R. Mechanisms is the only way to tackle the situation in restoring the people's faith in the judiciary and to save this sacred institution from the point of collapse.
Precisely, it may be said that in all format of A.D.R. Mechanisms, the key principle applied is settlement through a third party (called a facilitator) who assists the disputants to settle up their dispute on win-win formula where neither party is losing.
In arbitration, the parties to a dispute submit their differences to the judgment of an impartial person or group appointed by mutual consent or statutory provision.
In mediation, a neutral third party takes the role of facilitator (called mediator) who by his trained skill and experience persuades the parties to come to a reasonable amicable settlement. Participation is typically voluntary. The process is private and confidential, possibly enforced by law.
Like mediation, conciliation is a voluntary, flexible, confidential, and interest based process. The parties seek to reach an amicable dispute settlement with the assistance of the conciliator, who acts as a neutral third party.
Lok Adalat is a non-adversarial system, developed in India, whereby mock courts (called Lok- Adalats) are held by the Legal Services Authorities and through the exercise of persuasive and conciliatory process the disputes are settled up on compromise. These are usually presided over by retired judges, social activists and members of the legal profession.
The ADR Mechanisms are legally valid and accepted by courts. The Courts have now been encouraging the use of ADR in cases where compromise is possible. The effect of an Arbitration Award which is similar to decision by a Court has the same effect of a decree and is final, binding and non-challengeable. Similarly the settlement or agreements reached through the process of Conciliation or Mediation is deemed to be a decree and is binding. The Centre achieves settlement between the parties through the various modes in the best interest of the parties themselves. Where the agreement is on a dispute already pending before the courts, it shall be enforced as a decree by filing a Compromise suit. Thus willing parties who want to get their disputes settled and who does not want to undergo the long procedure and delays caused in the courts may resort to ADR by effectively utilising the services of the ADR Centre.