At its core, arbitration is a form of dispute resolution. Arbitration is the private, judicial determination of a dispute, by an independent third party. An arbitration hearing may involve the use of an individual arbitrator or a tribunal. A tribunal may consist of any number of arbitrators though some legal systems insist on an odd number for obvious reasons of wishing to avoid a tie. One and three are the most common numbers of arbitrators.
The disputing parties’ hand over their power to decide the dispute to the arbitrator(s). Arbitration is an alternative to court action (litigation), and generally, just as final and binding (unlike mediation, negotiation and conciliation which are non-binding).
The object of arbitration is to obtain a fair resolution of disputes by an impartial third party without unnecessary expense or delay. Parties should be free to agree how their disputes are resolved, subject only to such safeguards as are necessary in the public interest. Courts should not interfere.