Dec 21, 2017
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Alternative Dispute Resolution vs Litigation

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Alternative Dispute Resolution vs Litigation

Alternative Dispute Resolution

It has wide variety of processes, practices, and techniques. Arbitration and mediation used most frequently. There are some more alternative dispute resolution such as Minitrials, early neutral evaluations, and summary jury trials.  Parties opt ADR procedures to save time and money rather investing them in full blown civil litigation.

The following Acts governs or covers Alternative dispute resolution:

  1. Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
  2. Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
  3. Section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908.

It is an attempt to provide machinery which is capable of providing an alternative to the conventional methods of resolving disputes. Alternative dispute resolution helps to resolve the disputes of contracting parties. It has started gaining ground as against litigation.

Position of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Constitution

  • It first started for finding solutions to the perplexing problem of burden on courts. An attempt made by the legislators and judiciary to achieve the “Constitutional goal” of achieving Complete Justice.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution in India founded on the Constitutional basis of Articles 14 and 21 which deal with Equality before Law and Right to life and personal liberty respectively.
  • ADR also tries to achieve the Directive Principle of State Policy relating to Equal justice and Free Legal Aid as laid down under Article 39-A of the Constitution.


It is to describe that proceedings initiated between two opposing parties to enforce or defend a legal right. Litigation is settled by agreement between the parties, but also heard and decided by a jury or judge in court. It is not simply another name for a suit. Litigation includes any number of activities before, during, and after a suit to enforce a legal right. In addition to the actual lawsuit, pre-suit negotiations, arbitration, facilitation and appeals may also be part of the litigation process.

How is Alternative dispute resolution different from litigation?

1. Formalities

There are lots of formalities in litigation process. As litigation is a proceeding between two or more parties to enforce their right. Litigation proceeding have many formalities. Whereas, there are no formalities in Alternative dispute resolution system as it does not follow the procedure of rules and regulations as prescribed for courts.

2. Decisions

Courts have to follow many rule and regulation i.e trial process , rule of evidence and also trail jury etc. So they require more time to settle the case and give their decision or judgement in particular matter. Whereas, alternative dispute system provide quicker decisions as they need not follow any rule and regulation or rule of evidence.

3. Cost

Courts fees and attorney fees makes the litigation expensive. Court requires more time to dispose of the case which in turn increases the attorney fees. Longer trial more attorney fees. Whereas, parties has to pay only the neutral intermediary. There is no fess for alternative dispute resolution. Therefore, it is less expensive.

4. Hearing

In court, judges hear the case of parties. Normally court proceedings are heard by a judge( with a law degree) only. Whereas, Arbitrator, conciliator or a neutral intermediary will hear the issue of the parties. They are normally appointed by the conflicting parties themselves. They do no require law degree to become arbitrator or conciliator or a neutral intermediary.

5. Conclusion

At end, court gives the judgement which is binding on parties to the suit. Judgement is legally enforceable by law. Whereas, alternative dispute resolution gives opinion or award on the dispute which is not legally binding. such awards are submitted with court to make it legally binding.

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