Arbitration is a non-judicial process for the settlement of disputes where an independent third party – an arbitrator – makes a decision that is binding. It is a more formal process than mediation.

The role of an arbitrator is similar to that of a judge, though the procedures can be less formal. An arbitrator is usually an expert in their own right.

The are many advantages to arbitration:

  • the process can be tailored to suit parties’ particular needs
  • arbitrators can be chosen for their expertise
  • it is confidential
  • it can be speedier and cheaper than court
  • there are limited grounds of appeal
  • arbitral awards are binding and enforceable through the courts

A decision is reached by an arbitrator either on a documents only basis or following hearings that take place at an agreed venue.

For a dispute to be referred to arbitration either both parties agree to refer the matter to arbitration, or there will be an arbitration clause in a contract between the parties requiring an arbitration to take place.

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