Law Minister Anisul Huq said the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working relentlessly to incorporate Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in existing laws to make commercial disputes easier.
The government has enacted 'Use of Information Technology by the Court Act 2020' to ensure uninterrupted judicial functions through video conferencing amid corona pandemic.“However, we are yet to go a long way regarding the virtual form of ADR. Suggested virtual ADR practices can either be based on phone conferences or video conferences,” he said.
Anisul Huq was speaking as Chief Guest at the Webinar titled ‘Celebrating the First Nine Years: Impact of BIAC on Institutional ADR in Bangladesh.’ Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre (BIAC) organised the discussion on Saturday.
The law minister said over 3.6 million cases are pending with various courts across the country requiring wide application of ADR to reduce case backlog.
Justice Md Rezaul Hasan of the High Court Division explained provisions of ADR in the Arbitration Act 2001. He gave a few suggestions for amendment to existing arbitration law to simplify the out-of-the court settlement of disputes.
Md Moinul Kabir, Secretary of Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Ministry of Law, termed BIAC an iconic institution in promoting arbitration and mediation.
He stressed promoting ADR to resolve economic disputes as Bangladesh is advancing fast in the fields of trade and commerce.Chief Executive Officer of BIAC Muhammad A Rumee Ali in his welcome address said developed countries have already built firm ADR infrastructure.
Quoting Bangladesh’s 189th position among 190 economies in the Enforcing Contracts Index of The world Bank Doing Business Indicators, he said “it is time for us to ensure business disputes to be resolved as much as possible before going to the courts.”
Judges, lawyers, business leaders, government high officials, bankers, academics and representatives from diplomatic missions and international organisations participated in the Webinar.