Asean Centre for Dispute Resolution (ACDR)

a unit of

Asean Arbitration Foundation (AAF)

Corporate Identity Number U85300HR2021NPL099847
(Licensed under section 8 (1) of the Companies Act, 2013)




Guidelines for consultation and appointment of Arbitrator / Mediator

Registration and other fees for consultation and / or arbitration & mediation

Asean Centre for Dispute Resolution (ACDR) is a unit of Asean Arbitration Foundation (AAF), a Section 8 Company, with registered office at Faridabad. Asean Arbitration Foundation (AAF) draws its name from “Association for Social and Economic Advancement & Need” (ASEAN), the parent organisation, registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in 2003 as a not-for-profit, pan-India social and educational entity.

Asean Arbitration Foundation (AAF) is the sister organisation of Asean Institute of Insurance & Risk Management (AIIRM), the education and training wing of ASEAN, which is offering the Insurance Arbitration Certificate Course (IACC), for creating a cadre of Certified Insurance Arbitrators and Mediators for ACDR.

Asean Centre for Dispute Resolution (ACDR) is operating at the national and international level for providing adhoc as well as institutional mechanisms for resolution of disputes related to insurance and other fields through arbitration, mediation and conciliation as well as facilitate other forms of dispute resolution.

ACDR includes on its panel a wide range of experts drawn from various professions, trade and business. It provides facilities for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which include international and domestic commercial arbitration, conciliation and mediation. The main objectives of ACDR are to promote amicable, quick and inexpensive settlement of insurance, commercial and other disputes online as well as offline.

Need of arbitration:

Arbitration scores over formal litigation not only in terms of cost and time efficiencies but also in engaging subject-matter specialists in dispute resolution, thereby facilitating more practical solutions for more effective resolution. Unlike court proceedings which are public in nature and often protracted due to the procedural formalities, arbitration is mostly a private arrangement by the contracting parties enabling settlement in a time-bound manner with minimal rigour of procedures.

For the insurance industry, arbitration can provide that leap of faith which will help restore the confidence of the insuring public in the institution of insurance which is a highly specialized field. Insurance arbitration requires a large pool of professional arbitrators, having the knowledge of various aspects of insurance as well as practical skills in resolving disputes through arbitration, conciliation and mediation. ACDR has a panel of Certified Insurance Arbitrators who have successfully completed the Insurance Arbitration Certificate Course (IACC) being offered by Asean Institute of Insurance & Risk Management (AIIRM) only in India.

Role of Arbitrator:

Arbitrator is required to be an independent and impartial third party, chosen specifically for his / her industry knowledge, which becomes critical in complex cases where specialized expertise might be required; and wisdom in arriving at a mutually acceptable settlement or an objective and reasoned resolution of dispute through a legally enforceable Award.

An Arbitrator has to act as a mediator in attempting settlement; as a referee in ensuring that the proceedings take place in an organized, professional and fair manner; as a judge in passing orders during the proceedings and finally pass an ‘award’ at the end of the arbitral proceedings. Given the specialized nature of insurance contract and insurance business, an Insurance Arbitrator has to be a person having domain knowledge along with the skill and attitude required of an arbitrator.

The Certified Insurance Arbitrators of AIIRM have the unique combination of experience, knowledge and skill as well as a clear understanding of the nuances of insurance and the provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 to effectively discharge the role of arbitrators in insurance dispute resolution.

ACDR Rules for Arbitration:

Asean Centre for Dispute Resolution (ACDR) rules are intended to ensure professionalization of arbitration and providing a platform for institutional arbitration as contemplated under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 as amended through the Amendment Acts of 2019 and 2021.

While the arbitrator(s) have sufficient power to direct the proceedings and adopt the procedure that he (they) deem appropriate, institutional arbitration enables standardized rules for conduct of proceedings. The ACDR Rules provide the procedural aspects of arbitration based on best practices adopted by such institutions in India and abroad and as such would be largely acceptable to both the parties. The Rules allow the procedure and cost to be as minimal as practicable without compromising on the compliance with the extant law and in ensuring professionalism in the conduct of arbitration.

ACDR Online Arbitration: ACDR Rules also provide the parties with an option to choose virtual hearing. If this option is exercised, the proceedings of arbitration are conducted through digital platform, using MS Teams Application or such other video-conferencing platforms as agreed mutually by the parties and ACDR. 

Procedure for appointment of arbitrator(s): Under the ACDR Rules, the parties are free to adopt any mutually agreeable procedure, best suited to their needs, for appointing arbitrators.

In any event, if parties are unable to agree on a procedure for appointing arbitrators, ACDR, in due consultation with the parties, will appoint the arbitrators. The ACDR Rules thus provide for the fullest exercise of party autonomy with an assurance to be of assistance to the parties at all times if they cannot reach mutual agreement. The costs and expenses of arbitration will be governed by the Fee Schedule of the ACDR Rules drawn largely in accordance with the Fourth Schedule of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

Advantage of ACDR:

The parties referring their case to ACDR for resolution under its Rules will have the following advantages: –

  1. Access for consultation by either party to determine the necessity of arbitration and how to proceed forward, if arbitration is required.
  2. Availability of practical rules and procedures which assure that arbitration will get off the ground and proceed to conclusion in a professional yet smooth, effective and efficient manner.
  3. Administrative assistance in the form of secretariat or court of arbitration. The Secretariat of ACDR will monitor the progress of the case throughout the arbitration. The Secretariat would also facilitate by providing transcription, translation and interpretation services, if so required.
  4. Technical and legal assistance from ACDR to adhoc arbitrator or arbitral tribunal. Subject to acceptability of both the parties, ACDR will be glad to provide not only technical and legal expertise but also facilitate procedural compliance like documentation, witnessing, stamping etc..
  5. Lists of qualified arbitrators, as per their fields of expertise. The panel of arbitrators of ACDR consists of professionals from the insurance and related industries as well as the legal fraternity.
  6. Reasonable charges to keep the cost of arbitration optimum. ACDR will charge parties based on a published Scale of Fees as per ACDR Rules.
  7. Appointment of appropriate arbitrators by the ACDR. An arbitrator is appointed to a particular case only after ascertaining availability and checking for any conflict of interest. Arbitrators appointed are reminded in each assignment, of the strict Code of Ethics under which they are to conduct the arbitration.
  8. Physical and virtual facilities and support services for arbitrations.
  9. Encouraging reluctant parties to adopt arbitration for dispute resolution instead of taking recourse to long-drawn and expensive legal recourse.
  10. A large pool of resource persons from the insurance industry, legal fraternity and related industries to provide technical and legal assistance.

Procedure for consulting and appointing arbitrator(s) by ACDR:

    1. ACDR as consulting authority
    2. ACDR as appointing authority
    3. Offering the services of ACDR panel of arbitrators
  1. ACDR as consulting authority

ACDR shall, on the written request of parties, act as a consulting authority to determine the need for arbitration in the matter where the parties have not yet agreed to conduct proceedings under the Arbitration Act.

2. ACDR as appointing authority

ACDR shall, on the written request of parties, act as an appointing authority to facilitate the conduct of arbitral proceedings that the parties have agreed to conduct under the Arbitration rules.

  • On receipt of a request to appoint an arbitrator, ACDR will communicate to each party a list containing the names, description of qualifications and experience of at least three or five individuals from the panel of arbitrators. The parties shall, after marking the names in the order of preferences, return the list to the ACDR within 15 days of receipt of list.
  • On receipt of the list returned by the party, the ACDR shall, within 7 days, appoint the arbitrator from the list considering the order of preference indicated by the parties.
  • In case, parties fail to return the list within the stipulated time as mentioned above, ACDR may appoint the arbitrator from the panel of arbitrators.
  1. Offering the services of ACDR panel of arbitrators
  • The parties to the dispute may avail the service of arbitrator from the panel of ACDR, by written request, for resolution of their dispute through Ad hoc arbitration. Such request of parties may contain following: –
    1. Name of arbitrator or arbitrators (as the case may be)
    2. Brief Nature of Dispute
  • On receipt of such request, ACDR shall, within 15 days, seek the consent of the arbitrator(s) and inform the parties.
  • In case arbitrator (s) fails to give consent, ACDR shall inform the same to the parties and parties may file a fresh request with ACDR for the services of other Arbitrator(s) from their panel.