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November 1, 2023

10 Key Facts about Alternative Dispute Resolution in Bangladesh

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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has risen to prominence in Bangladesh’s legal landscape. As the nation contends with a growing population, an increase in commercial activities, and the complexities of modern life, ADR methods have gained prominence as effective means of resolving disputes. In this article, we’ll delve into ten essential facts about Alternative Dispute Resolution in Bangladesh, casting light on its significance, benefits, and the evolving ADR landscape in the country.

10 Key Facts about Alternative Dispute Resolution in Bangladesh

  1. A Growing Trend: Alternative Dispute Resolution methods such as mediation, arbitration, and conciliation have witnessed a growing trend in Bangladesh over recent years. These methods provide a quicker and less expensive path to justice by resolving disputes outside of the traditional court system.
  2. Arbitration Act, 2001:The legal framework for arbitration in Bangladesh is comprehensive. The Arbitration Act of 2001 governs arbitration proceedings in the United States and ensures the enforceability of arbitral awards. This law has facilitated and expedited arbitration processes, making it a preferred option for commercial dispute resolution.
  3. ADR Centers: In order to meet the demand for Alternative Dispute Resolution services, specialized ADR centers have been established in Bangladesh’s largest cities. These institutions provide a conducive environment for ADR proceedings by providing state-of-the-art facilities and seasoned mediators and arbitrators.
  4. Customary Dispute Resolution: Rural and indigenous communities in Bangladesh have a long history of customary dispute resolution techniques. Frequently, village elders, traditional leaders, or religious figures play a crucial role in mediating disputes within their respective communities. While these methods are not legally binding, they are culturally significant and contribute to the country’s Alternative Dispute Resolution landscape.
  5. Mandatory Mediation: By mandating mediation in certain cases, the judiciary in Bangladesh has taken measures to reduce the court’s caseload. The parties are urged to consider mediation prior to filing a lawsuit, emphasizing the court’s support for ADR as an effective means of dispute resolution.
  6. Effective in Commercial Disputes: ADR methods have proved highly effective in resolving commercial disputes in Bangladesh. Businesses, both domestic and international, have turned to arbitration and mediation as efficient and cost-effective alternatives to the traditional court system.
  7. Family Dispute Resolution: Alternative Dispute Resolution is not limited to only commercial disputes. They are equally valuable in addressing family disputes such as divorce settlements, inheritance issues, and child custody matters. In family disputes, mediation facilitates amicable resolutions, thereby reducing the emotional and financial strain on the parties.
  8. Land Dispute Resolution: Land disputes are ubiquitous in Bangladesh and frequently result in drawn-out legal battles. Mediation has emerged as a successful method for resolving land disputes, helping maintain harmony among neighbors and family members.
  9. Cultural and Social Significance: In a nation where personal and business relationships are intertwined, the cultural and social importance of Alternative Dispute Resolution methods cannot be emphasized. These techniques foster cooperation and comprehension, thereby preserving relationships even in the face of disagreements.
  10. Training and Capacity Building: ADR in Bangladesh has created a growing demand for trained professionals, including mediators and arbitrators. To meet this demand and guarantee the efficient administration of ADR services, efforts are being made to cultivate a pool of qualified ADR practitioners.

Importance of Arbitration Alternative Dispute Resolutionin Bangladesh

Alternative Dispute Resolution plays a significant role in the legal landscape of Bangladesh, addressing a variety of problems associated with the traditional court system. The significance of ADR in the country is highlighted by the following factors:

  1. Speedy Resolution: The speed with which disputes are resolved is a primary advantage of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Bangladesh. Mediation, in particular, can lead to a resolution in a matter of weeks or even days, compared to the years it may take in the formal justice system. This expedited process reduces opportunity costs, legal fees, and emotional duress for the parties involved.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness: ADR methods are typically more economical than litigation. Mediation and arbitration provide alternatives to protracted litigation with costly attorney fees. Moreover, ADR can be adapted to the financial capabilities of the parties, making it accessible to a diverse spectrum of individuals and enterprises.
  3. Less Formal and Intimidating: The traditional court system in Bangladesh can be intimidating, particularly for people who are unfamiliar with legal procedures. On the other hand, ADR is typically less formal and more conducive to open communication between the parties. This informal environment encourages a cooperative approach to dispute resolution, nurturing greater understanding and agreement.
  4. Tailored Solutions: ADR enables for more flexible and customized solutions to disputes. Typically, decisions in court are either a victory or a defeat. ADR however allows for inventive solutions that may not be feasible in a courtroom. Parties can concur on remedies that suit their unique requirements, preserving relationships and business interests.
  5. Preserving Relationships: In a culture where personal and business relationships often intersect, preserving these relationships during and after a dispute is essential. ADR techniques, notably mediation and conciliation, foster cooperation and mutual understanding, thereby increasing the likelihood that parties will continue to maintain positive relationships.

Perils and Prospects for the Future

Despite the fact that Alternative Dispute Resolution has made significant progress in Bangladesh, it still faces obstacles.

  1. Awareness and Education: In Bangladesh, many individuals and enterprises are unaware of ADR options and their benefits. Efforts must be increased to educate the public on ADR methods and their benefits.
  2. Capacity Building:There is a need to develop a pool of trained and experienced Alternative Dispute Resolution professionals, including mediators and arbitrators, to manage the increasing demand for Alternative Dispute Resolution services.
  3. Cultural Resistance:Some segments of society may continue to hold reservations about ADR methods, viewing them as less authoritative or traditional than the formal court system. Awareness and advocacy are required in order to combat cultural resistance.
  4. Enforcement of Awards: While the Arbitration Act of 2001 provides for the enforcement of arbitral awards, practical obstacles may still exist. Maintaining faith in the ADR system is contingent upon streamlining the process and assuring expeditious execution of awards.


Alternative Dispute Resolution is playing an increasingly crucial role in Bangladesh, providing efficient and cost-effective methods for resolving a vast array of disputes. Its significance in commercial, family, and land-related matters is evident, and the growing trend toward ADR adoption demonstrates its efficacy in delivering timely and equitable solutions.

As Bangladesh continues to develop and confront new obstacles, ADR will likely play an even more important role in reducing the burdens of the formal legal system. Efforts to raise awareness, increase capacity, and resolve cultural resistance will contribute to the continued success of ADR in the country, ensuring that individuals and businesses have access to effective and easily accessible dispute resolution methods.


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