There should have been separate acts for domestic arbitration and foreign awards: SC judge

New Delhi, Feb 15 (PTI) There should have been two arbitration acts -- one for domestic and another for foreign awards -- because the regimes are entirely different, Supreme Court judge Indu Malhotra said at a conference here on Saturday.

Justice Malhotra was speaking on 'Arbitration Highlights Need to Shift From Ad Hoc to Institutional Arbitration' at the 12th annual international arbitration conclave, organised by Nani Palkhivala Arbitration Centre (NPAC), according to a statement.

'There should have been two acts, one for domestic arbitration and one for imposing foreign awards, because the regimes are entirely different, and sometimes in the interpretation of one part, one tends to look at the other part which may create confusion,' she said, according to the statement.

Leigh-Ann Mulcahy QC, Fountain Court Chambers, London, while speaking at the conclave, talked about the need to safeguard party access to a limited pool of arbitrators who have expertise in specialist arbitration, the statement said.

'The need for impartiality among arbitrators is important in a system that is voluntary and autonomous. Parties have to be completely comfortable with the arbitrator who will resolve their dispute,' Mulcahy added.

Senior advocate and NPAC Director Arvind P Datar talked about the need to focus solely on institutional arbitration and said public sector units (PSUs) should make institutional arbitration mandatory.

'For the last 25 years, I have been hearing about how we should not have ad hoc arbitration, and I think it's time to bite the bullet and make it mandatory for at least PSUs to make Institutional Arbitration mandatory. Before we become an international hub of arbitration, we also must focus on making domestic arbitration very robust,' Datar said. PTI URD SMN