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Arbitration

Arbitration

Author: Marlene Johnson
Description:

At the end of this tutorial, the learner will understand that arbitration is one of many conflict resolution methods, with a number of variants

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Tutorial

Video Transcription

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What is arbitration and what does that look like as a conflict resolution process? I'm Marlene, and in today's tutorial I'd like to take a look with you at arbitration.

Arbitration is a process that takes place outside the courts. A dispute is referred to one person or maybe several people. And this third party reviews the evidence and issues what is called an award. Now, that award is a decision that is legally binding and enforceable.

So let's step back and look at the actual definition here of arbitration. Arbitration is a conflict resolution process in which a neutral party decides the outcome of a dispute between two or more parties. And once again, that decision is called an award, the decision of an arbiter or arbitration tribunal in an arbitration.

Notice the language here. We've talked about an arbiter or arbitration tribunal. That's because the decision can be made by one or more people. So if it's one person making the decision it's an arbiter. A conflict resolver involved in arbitration. And if several arbiters are involved it's an arbitration tribunal. A group of arbiters working together in an arbitration.

Now an arbiter or an arbitration tribunal may or may not be comprised of legal professionals. They don't necessarily have to be legal professionals. Nor do they have to be experts in the area that the dispute is about.

So a number of businesses, in particular in the us, find that they like to use arbitration as a method of resolving conflicts. For one thing, if it's a very technical dispute, the arbiter doesn't necessarily have to be technical. You can't choose an arbiter for their technical knowledge, anymore than you could choose a judge in a court system. And also arbitration is many times faster, it's cheaper, there is more flexibility, and very importantly it's non-public. So businesses can keep this confidential.

Now there have been some issues raised around the use of arbitration in some cases. For example, with credit card companies there have been some issues raised because it's part of the transaction. A party may be required to give up their right too a court decision at a later date. And a party may find that the arbiter is being chosen for, and paid for, by the other party in the dispute. So that's one of the issues around arbitration that has surfaced.

In closing, I want to summarize arbitration as this process taking place outside of court. With one or more parties a neutral party. That party issues an award which is a decision that is legally binding and enforceable.

So thank you for being part of this tutorial and I look forward to seeing you next time.

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Arbitration

    A conflict resolution process in which a neutral party decides the outcome of a dispute between two or more parties.

  • Arbiter

    The conflict resolver involved in an arbitration.

  • Arbitration Tribunal

    A group of arbiters working together in an arbitration.

  • Award

    The decision of an arbiter or arbitration tribunal in an arbitration.