Arbitration vs. Mediation

Difference Between Arbitration and Mediation Have you ever come across the acronym ADR?  Its full form is Alternative…

Difference Between Arbitration and Mediation

Have you ever come across the acronym ADR?  Its full form is Alternative Dispute Resolution and is intended to save one of blues that he is sure to receive if he takes his case to a court for settlement. Arguments, when taken for the settlement to a court of law, are not only time consuming but also expensive. Moreover, the jury’s verdict is sure to bring disappointment to one of the parties in dispute. With so many horror stories of cases taking too long to be settled in the courts, it is prudent to for arbitration or mediation are two methods put forward under ADR. There are similarities in these two dispute resolution mechanisms; it is differences between the two that will be highlighted in this article. Awareness of these differences would prove useful to the common people, should they be drawn into a dispute in the future that needs to be taken care of without much hassles.

Today, it is common to refer to an arbitrator or mediator in a contract should there be any dispute in the future as a settlement mechanism. This is done to save parties from hiring expensive lawyers and meeting other miscellaneous expenses of the court, as the case unnecessarily becomes a drag in the course of justice. These reasons motivate people to go to an arbitrator or opt for mediation. However, it is always advantageous to be aware of the differences that exist these two mechanisms of dispute settlement before deciding on either one.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is closer to dispute settlement in a court of law as it involves the appointment of a person as an arbitrator, who performs a role similar to that of a judge in a court of law. The arbitrator shall hear and consider the evidence against facts to arrive at a decision that will bind the two parties. His decision is legal, binding and often the final one in the sense that it is already mentioned in the contract that his decision can not be challenged in a court of law. Contracts often have a provision of a fixed duration of arbitration which proves beneficial for both the parties as they are spared from the lengthy trials that may result in financial breakdown for both. The number of witnesses is also limited in the arbitration to save time, as against what we see in the trials in court that consume much time because of the practical summoning of  witnesses that have no impact on the process of decision making.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is more a facilitative system where in the decision is not imposed by the mediator, but he rather plays the role of a Facilitator and parties themselves come forward with a solution that is acceptable to both. The mediator helps parties assist them in arriving at a negotiated resolution. The mediator has no authority to impose a decision but he facilitates communication between the competing parties. With the ice broken, parties, spurred on and assisted by the mediator, attain a solution on their own to the problem in hand. Although the mediator may be a legal authority who is capable of presenting the pros and cons of the situation, it depends on the parties involved whether they want to reject or accept these suggestions. They can find their own form of negotiation accepted by everyone.



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