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.


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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Disputes that are heard by the courts are a matter of public record. The court files, pleadings and any court documents can be accessed by any member of the public, including the press.

Disputes that are arbitrated however bear the advantage of being completely private and confidential. The arbitration papers and order are not public documents and parties can ensure their privacy by insisting on a confidentiality clause in their arbitration agreement.


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.