To tackle the crippling judicial backlog of the Indian justice system, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms have been formalised and introduced in various formats. Despite their obvious benefits of purported lower costs, and timeliness, these mechanisms have not really found their envisioned success and high utility in reducing mainstream litigation. This paper explores how the absence of proper stakeholder engagement, especially with the service users (namely existing and potential litigants) has been an impediment to improving the popularity of ADR mechanisms in India. It studies a similar project conducted in Alberta, Canada, focusing on how litigants provided valuable insights into improving access to justice through free legal aid and services. It proposes a similar community-based model to re-envision and redeploy ADR frameworks within the country, making them appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms, instead of alternatives. While the notion of litigant awareness and involvement have been part of Indian legal scholarship for some time now, this paper attempts to broach these subjects from a sociological empirical researcher 's perspective to better inform judicial reforms in India.
"Hearing the 'Little Guy' - Litigant Involvement to Promote Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in India,"
Socio-Legal Review: Vol. 15:
1, Article 2.
Available at: https://repository.nls.ac.in/slr/vol15/iss1/2