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Arbitration Discourse in Asia


Vijay K. Bhatia and Maurizio Gotti

Arbitration is the most widely used alternative method to resolve commercial disputes between parties. Since arbitration in international contexts is equally applicable to legal traditions across the world, there has been incessant effort on the part of all jurisdictions to harmonize principles and practices to establish a unified system of arbitration. As differences are difficult to reconcile, there has been quite a bit of interest and effort invested in the study of some of the key issues and challenges in the field.
This volume reports on one such initiative undertaken by an interdisciplinary project, whose main objective is to investigate the norms and arbitral practices in some important Asian countries from the point of view of discursive practices prevalent in these jurisdictions.
The project focuses on the documents used in arbitration in the main Asian countries and compares them with those employed in other continents. The investigated texts include not only norms and awards, but also interviews with professionals in the field so as to gain direct insights into the linguistic and textual choices employed in the drafting of these documents.
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‘It is amply clear that there is no convincing evidence to infer that’: Evidentiality in Indian Arbitral Awards


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‘It is amply clear that there is no convincing evidence to infer that’: Evidentiality in Indian Arbitral Awards*

1. Introduction

This study is an attempt to explore the degree of evidentiality used in arbitral awards from a linguistic perspective, with particular regard to the Indian context. This calls for a clear-cut definition of both arbitration and evidentiality. Arbitration is an alternative form of dispute resolution (ADR), where ‘alternative’ refers to the extra-judicial way of resolving disputes,1 which is private (that is, confidential) and, as such, alternative to the public judicial process held in a court of law (Maci 2012). From a legal standpoint, evidence “includes the technical tools through which facts submitted by the parties to a judicial proceeding of any kind […] may become the proper basis for any judicial decision” (Ziccardi 2012: 63). This, however, has little to do with the linguistic concept of evidentiality. Aikhenvald (2004: 1) defines evidentiality as a conceptual category which “states the existence of a source of evidence for some information; that includes stating that there is some evidence, and also specifying what type of evidence there is”.

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