CJI Chandrachud Advocates for Gender Diversity in Arbitration Panels

CJI Chandrachud Advocates
CJI Chandrachud Advocates
CJI Chandrachud Advocates
CJI Chandrachud Advocates

CJI Chandrachud Advocates for Gender Diversity in Arbitration Panels

CJI Chandrachud Advocates for Gender Diversity in Arbitration Panels. Image/Bar &Bench

Gender Disparity in Arbitration Panels

In a recent address at the inaugural session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) South Asia Conference, Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud raised a critical concern about the striking lack of gender diversity in arbitration panels. He highlighted the sobering fact that less than 10% of Indian arbitrators on international panels are women, describing this as a “diversity paradox.” Despite regional diversity initiatives, the gender composition of these panels remains significantly skewed.

Addressing Unconscious Bias

Justice Chandrachud referred to a report on gender diversity that identifies unconscious bias as a key contributing factor to this gender imbalance. To counteract this issue, the report recommends the use of gender-neutral pronouns in legislation and rules, emphasizing the need for inclusivity.

International Collaboration and Shared Learning

Justice Chandrachud emphasized the importance of countries learning from one another, leveraging shared experiences and confronting common challenges to improve their legal systems. He underscored the interconnectedness of South Asian countries, particularly in the digital age, and urged legal frameworks to evolve in tandem with the growth of the digital economy.

Transparency and Simplification in Legal Systems

Highlighting a recent Memorandum of Understanding between India and Singapore aimed at advancing cooperation in judicial education and research, Justice Chandrachud stressed the significance of transparency and simplification in legal systems. He commended UNCITRAL’s pivotal role in assisting countries in streamlining and standardizing their laws, thereby enhancing accessibility within the justice delivery system.

Promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Justice Chandrachud underscored India’s active promotion of arbitration as the preferred mode of dispute resolution. He noted that Indian courts have remained vigilant in enforcing arbitration agreements and thwarting attempts to subvert party autonomy through cleverly drafted contracts.

Distinguished Attendees

The event witnessed the presence of notable figures such as Attorney General for India R Venkataramani and senior advocate Fali Nariman.

Advancing Gender Diversity in Arbitration Panels

Justice Chandrachud’s address serves as a clarion call for greater gender diversity in arbitration panels and highlights the need for conscious efforts to mitigate unconscious bias. It also underscores the role of international collaboration, the evolution of legal frameworks in the digital era, the simplification of legal systems, and the promotion of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

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