Mediation vs arbitration: what’s the difference?
The main distinction between mediation and arbitration is the method used to settle the dispute. Both strategies will help you settle a legal problem beyond the conventional court process, but they require two different ways to get you from A to Z.
- Mediation: a non-binding procedure that is usually carried out by a single mediator who does not judge the case but encourages dialogue and subsequent dispute resolution.
- Arbitration: usually a binding procedure that replaces the entire legal process with two (often three) persons selected to serve in your case as judges
Arbitration is usually performed with a jury of several arbitrators who perform a role such as that of a judge, decide on facts and give written opinions (which may be binding or non-binding). While arbitration is often performed with one arbitrator, a choice of arbitrator is the most common procedure for each side. Then, these two arbitrators appoint a third arbitrator, at which stage the dispute shall be submitted to the three arbitrators appointed. Decisions shall be taken by majority vote.
Mediation and arbitration are similar in that they are alternatives to conventional litigation, and are often used in combination with litigation (opponents can try to negotiate first, and if that fails, move on to trial).
Arbitration and mediation both appoint a neutral third party to oversee the proceedings which can be binding on both.
Litigation is something that people usually tend to avoid. It’s expensive, time-consuming, emotionally exhausting and uncertain –-once a judge or jury resolves the case, you can never be sure of the outcome. Because litigation for most of us is so expensive, alternative conflict resolution, such as arbitration and mediation, has become increasingly common. But you should first know the difference between arbitration and mediation, before going on with potential alternative conflict settlements.
As an essential part of the legal process, mediation has enjoyed growing popularity.
Mediation achieves such high success rates because the parties come together in an atmosphere where they can express their position openly and confidentially to a neutral third party. Mediation is seeking to minimise the problems and bring them into a proper context. Participants also feel much better after getting a chance to get things “off their
chest,” and often benefit from seeing the point of view of the other group.
The neutrality and more comfortable mediation environment will remove the urge to pursue aggressive litigation until both sides have seen all the issues in a fair light.
Mediation should be used for any form of conflict; there is no need to wait until a disagreement results in a lawsuit, and a judge orders them to mediate. Pre-lawsuit mediation is commonly recognised as a practical way to settle conflicts before they become litigation. In addition to being confidential and non-binding, mediation is relatively fast and affordable as opposed to litigation. If you are looking for a mediator to advise you, check out this boutique law firm in Singapore.