As a means of resolving disputes outside of the court, the concept of arbitration in the form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has developed in Bangladesh in the recent past. Arbitration in Bangladesh is being governed by section 89B of the Code of Civil Procedure and Arbitration Act, 2001 which is based on UNCITRAL model law. The Act of 2001 will apply to all arbitrations in the country except those which may not be submitted to arbitration by virtue of any other law.
Arbitration is a process where the parties refer their disputes to a person or a group of persons who decides the disputes between or among the parties, and the parties agree to oblige the decision without intervention of the court. We can say it is an agreement to resolve the dispute without the aid of the court.
With all other means of resolving disputes available before the parties, why should they choose to arbitrate? A lawsuit may seem to be cheaper than the costs involved in arbitration because the professional fees of the arbitral tribunal and the expense of venue have to be borne by the parties of a dispute. After attending a couple of arbitration sessions as legal counsel I can say that there are many reasons why anyone should choose arbitration proceeding by overlooking the tawdriness of the court.
As no dispute settlement mechanism is perfect, it is necessary to mention the cons as well as pros of arbitration. Expenses of arbitration proceedings in Bangladesh are, to some extent, higher in comparison to other modes of dispute resolution. Undeniably there is an extra cost in respect to the fees of the arbitral tribunal. Another difficulty in arbitral proceedings is the challenges made to the arbitration agreement or to an arbitrator.
The success of resolving disputes outside the court rest on the people’s participation in the various modes of alternative dispute settlement mechanism. And, people can only participate when they actually know the benefits of ADR. So, it is the duty of the government, judiciary and the lawyers to encourage people to participate in different kinds of dispute settlement mechanisms like arbitration and take immediate result without intervention of the court.