Arbitration

Arbitration Advantages

Neutrality & Flexibility

  • Parties are free to choose their neutral arbitral and their Expertise, Arbitration Procedure, Place/ Venue
  • Time & Cost Efficiency – Arbitration can usually be heard sooner than it takes for court proceedings to be heard. As well, the arbitration hearing should be shorter in length, and the preparation work less demanding. It is cost effective too.
  • Privacy – Arbitration hearings are confidential, private meetings in which the media and members of the public are not able to attend. As well, final decisions are not published, nor are they directly accessible. This is particularly useful to the employer who does not want his ‘dirty laundry’ being aired.
  • Convenience –Hearings are arranged at times and places to suit the parties, arbitrators and witnesses.
  • Finality – There is in general, no right of appeal in arbitration on merits. (Although, the court has limited powers to set aside or remit an award).
  • Having cited the above list of advantages, it is only appropriate to mention some of the most commonly perceived drawbacks of arbitration.
  • ‘Splitting the Baby’ – Thomas Crowley states that because of the relaxation of rules of evidence in arbitration, and the power of the arbitrator to ‘do equity’ (make decisions based on fairness), the arbitrator may render an award that, rather than granting complete relief to one side, splits the baby by giving each side part of what they requested. Thus both parties are leave the table feeling that justice was not served.
  • No Appeal – Unless there is evidence of outright corruption or fraud, the award is binding and usually not appealable. Thus if the arbitrator makes a mistake, or is simply an idiot, the losing party usually has no remedy.

Enforceability

Enforcement of foreign court judgments can be difficult in the absence of an appropriate bilateral treaty. Under the New York Convention signed by more than 150 jurisdictions, each of the Convention parties undertake to recognise and enforce arbitral awards made in other signatory countries.