President Hiram E. Chodosh delivered introductory remarks and moderated a panel of Indian dignitaries at the inaugural event for Maadhyam, Council for Mediation and Conflict Resolution. The panel discussion, held January 7 at the India International Centre in New Delhi, was attended by over 300 people and focused on “Conflict and the Law: Perspectives and Challenges.” Maadhyam also published a brief essay, Depolarizing Legal Conflict by President Chodosh in its inaugural newsletter.
The panel included Justice A.K. Sikri of the Supreme Court of India; B.S. Chauhan, former Indian Supreme Court Justice and Chairman of the Law Commission of India; Dr. Achal Bhagat, one of Delhi’s leading psychiatrists; Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath, the Director of Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace; and Dr. C. Raja Mohan, strategic affairs analyst and Director of Carnegie India.
Maadhyam is a newly established organization in India to promote the field of conflict resolution and to popularize and promote alternative conflict and dispute resolution in the Indian legal system and around the world.
“We had such a great program here with President Chodosh, who has had such a long and meaningful association with the Indian legal system over many years,” said Sadhana Ramachandran, Maadhyam’s senior vice president. “He has also been a great guide and mentor for us in many ways.”
According to Ramachandran, Chodosh’s engagement with India goes back many years. He was the lead author on a national study in 1996-1997 sponsored by the Chief Justice of India to investigate the needs and causes of backlog and delay in the Indian court system. Chodosh, aided by the work of five Indian study groups organized to undertake the assessment, authored a published version of the study in the N.Y.U. Journal of International Law and Politics. The study recommended steps to develop a court-annexed alternative dispute resolution capacity.
Later, Chodosh led the first regional workshops on mediation in India and co-authored the first book on the topic – Mediation In India: A Toolkit – when he served as a Senior Fulbright Scholar in 2003.
Mediation has become a major non-adversarial, consensual dispute resolution movement in India. The Supreme Court of India, many High Courts and District courts now have court-annexed mediation centers.
Over the past decade, President Chodosh has helped guide Samadhan, the Delhi High Court Mediation and Conciliation Centre, a leading court-annexed mediation center in the country with an average of 100 mediation cases listed in a day. It is now a state-of-the-art center that has over 250 mediators practicing in 32 mediation rooms spread over three floors of the Delhi High Court.
Chodosh’s most recent book, co-authored with Shimon Shetreet, The Uniform Civil Code for India: A Blueprint for Scholarly Discourse, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015.