Arbitration

Alternative Dispute Resolution Specialists

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution very similar to trial proceedings. It is the private, adjudicative determination of a dispute, by an independent third party. An arbitration hearing may involve the use of an individual arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators and unlike mediation, is binding upon the parties.

Rules Of Commercial Arbitration

Arbitrations are governed by the Arbitration Act 42 of 1965. Once the parties agree to have a dispute arbitrated, an arbitration agreement is signed which sets out the rules by which the arbitration will be governed.

Enforcement

An arbitration award is binding on the parties to the arbitration. An award may, however, also be made an order of court, in which case, the arbitration award will then be enforced in the usual manner that court judgements are enforced.

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Currently, the waiting period for a trial date can vary between fourteen months to two years from the date that pleadings close. Arbitration however, does not have this time delay.

Once pleadings have closed, the arbitrator and the parties can set the matter down for a hearing at any time that is convenient. Furthermore, the fact that the arbitrator and the parties choose the dates of the hearing (as opposed to merely having a date allocated) ensures that the parties’ legal teams are available to argue our matter. There is no such guarantee when trial dates are allocated by the courts.

Conclusion

The aim of arbitration is to provide an alternative forum where the dispute may be adjudicated allowing the parties some control over who adjudicates the matter and the time periods in which the matter will be heard.

The views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organisation or body of persons.