Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): Benefits, Types, ADR in India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Dec 28, 2022, 19:03

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a method of resolving disagreements and disputes between parties by negotiating a mutually acceptable settlement through the help of a third party. Alternative Dispute Resolution is an attempt to create a framework that is different from the usual techniques for resolving disputes.

In India, Alternative Dispute Resolution is enacted based on Article 14 (Equality before the law) and Article 21 (Right to life and personal liberty) of the Indian Constitution. We have shared more about ADR, its benefits, and its methods below.

What is ADR?

ADR or Alternative Dispute Resolution refers to the method of settling disputes other than law. Disputes between two parties are generally settled in courts. However, if the parties involved in the dispute mutually agree to find an alternative solution other than going to court, it is called an Alternative Dispute Resolution.

In an Alternative Dispute Resolution, a third party acts as a mediator between the two disputed parties to help them find a solution. ADR can be performed in a number of ways and we have shared its many types and methods here.

ADR Full Form

The full form of ADR is Alternative Dispute Resolution. This is a method for settling disputes between two parties within a court system. In recent years, this form of settling disputes is becoming increasingly popular in the world. This is because the court systems around the world generally cannot provide swift judgements because of the load of work.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods

There are many methods through which an Alternative Dispute Resolution can be found between two disputing parties. We have shared some of the most common ADR methods below:


The case is brought before an arbitral tribunal, which renders a ruling (an "award") on the case that is mainly binding on the parties. There is relatively limited room for judicial intervention in the arbitration procedure, except for some interim remedies.


In this ADR method, a non-binding technique in which a neutral third party, the conciliator, supports the disputants in achieving an amicable agreement. However, if both parties approve the conciliator's settlement statement, it will be valid and enforceable on both sides.


Mediation is a method of Alternative Dispute Resolution in which parties a neutral third party known as a "mediator" assists the parties in attempting to obtain a mutually agreeable resolution of the conflict. The mediator assists the parties in communicating so that they can attempt to resolve it on their own.


It is a non-binding ADR mechanism where the parties engage in conversations without the involvement of a third party to reach a negotiated solution. Negotiation takes place in the workplace, in non-profit organisations, in government entities, in legal proceedings, between nations, and in personal issues such as marriage, parenting, and everyday life.

Lok Adalats

The Legal Services Authorities Act of 1987 paved the way for the development of the Lok Adalat as an Alternative Dispute Resolution system to speed up the process. Disputes in the pre-litigation phase could be resolved amicably at Lok Adalats.

ADR Law in India

Alternative Dispute Resolution is a popular way of resolving disputes among parties in India. Here is the history of ADR in India -

  • The Legal Services Authorities Act was passed in 1987 to enable out-of-court settlements. While the new Arbitration and Conciliation Act got passed in 1996.
  • The plea bargaining procedure got incorporated into the Code of Criminal Procedure in 2005.
  • Lok Adalat, or "people's court," is an informal forum that fosters talks in the presence of a judicial officer and where issues get resolved without undue focus on legal proceedings. The Lok Adalat's decision is decisive and agreed upon by the parties and cannot be appealed in a court of law.
  • Thus, Alternative Dispute Resolution is carried out in India to resolve disputes and disagreements between parties.

ADR Benefits

Here are some of the benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution -

  • In this method, dispute resolution is typically conducted privately, which aids in maintaining confidentiality.
  • Procedural flexibility helps to save time while alleviating the stress associated with typical trials.
  • The ADR system generally results in new ideas, long-term outcomes, higher contentment, and improved relationships.
  • Having specialised expertise in the tribunal as an arbitrator, mediator, conciliator, or impartial adviser is beneficial.

ADR in Law

In the past few years, the Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism has efficiently resolved an enormous number of cases at all tiers of the judiciary. It is a successful method of dispute resolution in India and around the world.

Lok Adalats have dispensed more than 5 million cases per year on average. However, there appears to be a dearth of awareness regarding ADR Law and Mechanisms. More knowledge should be shared by the National and State Legal Services Authorities so that prospective litigants consider ADR first.

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FAQs on Alternative Dispute Resolution

Q.1. What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a non-adversarial mechanism of resolving disputes in which parties work collaboratively to reach an agreement best for everyone. ADR is a way to resolve conflicts and disagreements between parties in a swift and mutually beneficial way.

Q.2. What are the methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution?

There are many methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as mediation, conciliation, negotiation, and arbitration. In India, Lok Adalats are also a popular and one of the most prevalent methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution in civil matters between disputing parties.

Q.3. What is the full form of ADR?

The full form of ADR is Alternative Dispute Resolution. It refers to a method of figuring out disputes between two parties via an alternative route instead of going to court. Alternative Dispute Resolution is generally performed under the presence of a third-party mediator.

Q.4. When was the Alternative Dispute Resolution Law passed?

The Legal Services Authorities Act (Alternative Dispute Resolution Law) was passed in 1987 to encourage out-of-court settlements. Over the years, Alternative Dispute Resolution has become the preferred way of settling disagreements between parties because it is more efficient.