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Arbitration - ways of resolving civil disputes.

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Introduction

ADR Law Exam - Jan 2001 5a) There are a number of alternative ways of resolving civil disputes other than an action before the civil courts. The range of alternatives available include tribunals, arbitration, mediation and conciliation. Arbitration is one method to resolve disputes without court action. Both sides voluntarily agree to an independent third party making a decision on their case. Arbitration is an alternative to court action (litigation), and generally, just as final and binding (unlike mediation, negotiation and conciliation which are non-binding). This process is governed by the Arbitration Act 1996. General principles of arbitration are as follows: * The object of arbitration is to obtain a fair resolution of disputes by an impartial third party without unnecessary expense or delay. * Parties should be free to agree how their disputes are resolved, subject only to such safeguards as are necessary in the public interest. * Courts should not interfere. There are three different classifications of arbitration which are: * Commercial arbitration; this is the most common of disputes. ...read more.

Middle

Relate is one well known organisation offering a mediation service. Its services are available to any couple considering a legal divorce, or indeed any couple experiencing difficulties in their relationship. Conciliation involves a neutral third party helping to solve a dispute. The conciliator raises relevant issues and actively suggests appropriate solutions. 1b) There are many advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives mentioned in part a, compared to a claim through the civil courts. Advantages of arbitration are: * Parties retain more control over arbitration than over a court case, where the control is effectively exercised by lawyers and the judge. * The proceedings are held in private. * Arbitration is usually quicker and cheaper than court proceedings. * The arbitrator is not usually a lawyer but a specialist in the field concerned, who has been trained as an arbitrator. Disadvantages of arbitration are: * There is no legal aid. * Opportunity to appeal is limited. * There may be difficulty in enforcing awards. * There may be an imbalance between parties, e.g. ...read more.

Conclusion

* Lack of accessibility; the Franks recommendation that tribunals should be 'open' requires more than just a rule that hearings should usually be held in public; it also demands that citizens should be aware of tribunals and their right to use them. Advantages of mediation are: * Lets you - not a judge or jury -develop your own solutions * May offer you a fast resolution to a dispute * May be less expensive than going to court * May mend your relationship with the other parties * Still allows you to go to court if you cannot reach a mutually-acceptable solution Disadvantages of mediation are: * May not resolve your dispute * You or the other party may not be happy with the solution * You may have to go to court anyway Advantages of conciliation are: * It is independent * It is informal and non-confrontational * It avoids the stress of the legal process Disadvantages of conciliation are: * Complainants might not get an opportunity to meet with their employer face-to-face * Settlement requires the consent of both parties Lisa Terry ...read more.

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