On Tuesday, Former Supreme Court Judge A.K.Sikri said, there have been several cases of gender discrimination and sexual exploitation in sports, which needed to be resolved immediately and mediation is needed for it.
The Judge said, that online disputes resolution (ODR) has been seen as the next step in Indian legal system in litigation, arbitration and mediation during the pandemic-induced lockdown and restrictions, was also of the view that commercialisation of sports has given rise to various kinds of disputes and mediation was one such process which facilitated level playing field.
He spoke on the “Scope of mediation in sports disputes” at an international webinar organised by mediators of the Supreme Court of India, Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Sports Dispute Resolution Centre and the Youth Bar Association of India.
He also mentioned, there neither courts nor arbitration can deal with effectively and mediation is much needed.
“There are many such cases where the coach has tried to indulge in such practices and several complaints have come up against them. What is more important is that these issues need to be resolved immediately. They cannot wait even for a few days sometimes. That is why many sports committees have ad hoc judges or arbitrators in the events. We need on the spot resolution. It is neither the courts, that is litigation, neither arbitration that can deal with it effectively. We need mediation for that,” speaking about cases of gender discrimination and sexual exploitation in sports, Justice Sikri said.
“Covid-19 situation in the country has given us a chance to look into mediation. Of course it is a pandemic which has created panic all over the world, many have died, livelihoods and lifestyle have been affected. In the whole process we have realised that technology can play an important role. “And now ODR (Online Disputes Resolution) is seen as the next step even in Indian legal system, whether litigation or arbitration or mediation. And according to me, some of the cases which are proper for online mediation, apart from consumer disputes, are sports disputes,” the judge said.
The Judge added, “Discussions are always better than arguments because arguments are to find out who is right and a discussion is to find out what is right. It is only the mediation which brings about this. It heals the past, lives in the present and dreams the future.”
The mediation has come a long way in the last 15 years and it was here to stay as the legal system is enlarging its scope, Judge Sikri mentioned.