Arbitration

Arbitration

Arbitration is a formal dispute resolution process governed by the Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 NSW (or the equivalent in other states) in which two or more participants refer their dispute to an independent third person (the arbitrator) for determination. Providing that the arbitration is conducted according to the principles of natural justice its procedures may be varied by the participants to suit the size and complexity of their dispute. A small case, for example, may be heard on the basis of documentary submissions alone which can reduce its costs significantly. Other more complex cases may benefit from a judicial style hearing in which formal claims and defences are lodged, evidence is put forward by each participant and tested by cross-examination etc. The result of the arbitration, known as the Award, is enforceable in the same manner as a Court judgement.

Note that the process described here is “commercial” arbitration rather than the more commonly known “industrial” arbitration which is a more narrowly based process concerned predominantly with matters of wages and conditions of employment.

Commercial arbitration in Australia has become the preferred procedure for participants seeking a binding determination of their dispute and an alternative to Court based litigation. Under the direction of a qualified arbitrator, it is an expedient, private and efficient method of dispute resolution.

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