Arbitrator vs. Mediator

Difference Between Arbitrator and Mediator

Arbitrators and mediators are the people who play important role in resolution of disputes among people or two parties. Their role has become important because of the high cost and time involved in legal proceedings. They help in out of court settlement of disputes but both are a little different from each other in terms of their responsibilities and personalities.

Mediators encourage both the parties to settle down things on a solution which can be acceptable to both the parties. His decision and suggestions are valued by both the parties because he is a neutral person but these are not at all legally binding. The suggestions and solution become effective only when both the parties accept it.  He paves way for both the parties for working out a solution beneficial for both the parties.

Arbitrator is usually a person expert in law. He can be a retired judge or a senior advocate. This is similar to legal proceeding where both the parties get chance to explain their point and they can have their attorneys to question the witnesses from the other party. It is not at all an out of court settlement and the decision is binding to both the parties just like the rule of court.

Major differences between mediator and arbitrator are

  1. The decision of mediator is not legally binding while that of arbitrator is.
  2. Mediators are better in civil cases and personal matters like divorce while arbitrators play important role in disputes between parties like between labor and management, between two companies etc.

Mediators are negotiators and they help both the parties in resolving their disputes while arbitrator gives decision after hearing to the arguments.


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