3 Things You Need to Know Before Using Arbitration Mediation Service
Before resulting in a long court proceeding, consider the opportunity to start a mediation or arbitration proceeding. It is a common belief that courts are the only option to resolve disputes, however, this is not true. Mediation and Arbitration are two methods within the category of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that can be used to settle a wide range of disputes. If you are considering using one or both of these methods, this article will provide you with three useful pieces of information on arbitration and mediation[DSP1] services.
1. ADR methods are options to settle disputes without going to national courts
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods provide disputing parties with options other than filing a case to national courts that starts a long and costly court proceeding. ADR methods are private proceedings that usually involve a third person with different powers depending on the method chosen. The third person could either oversee and facilitate the discussion between disputing parties to reach a settlement agreement or he could have the power to render a binding decision after acquiring all relevant information and evidence from disputing parties. In every ADR method, the third person is neutral and independent from the disputing parties and the matter in dispute.
There are different methods within the category of the ADR, the most common and popular are arbitration and mediation. We will now have a closer look at these two ADR methods.
2.The difference between mediation and arbitration
There are various differences between mediation and arbitration such as the level of formality of the proceedings. Mediation is usually less formal compared to arbitration. However, the main difference between these two ADR proceedings is the power of the third person involved. In arbitration, the arbitrator has the power to issue a binding decision for all the parties, while in mediation, the mediation can only facilitate the discussion among parties to reach a settlement agreement.
In a mediation proceeding, the third person involved is called the mediator. This subject is chosen by the disputing parties and he will assist them without making any determinations or decisions, but only facilitating the interaction between parties. The mediator is usually an ADR practitioner, specifically trained to guide and moderate the discussion of the parties, helping the parties in reaching a settlement agreement. This agreement will be signed by all the parties involved and concludes their disputes.
The mediation proceeding brings many benefits to parties who chose it to settle their disputes. First of all, it is usually faster than a court proceeding and legal costs are lower. Another important benefit is the confidentiality of the proceeding, only disputing parties and the mediator are entitled to participate in meetings. Therefore, all information shared by parties remains confidential. Lastly, due to the limited powers of the mediator, disputing parties have better control of the whole proceeding.
In an arbitral proceeding, the third person involved is called the arbitrator. It is also possible to have a panel of more than one arbitrator that is called arbitral tribunal, which is usually an odd number of arbitrators. The arbitrator has wider power compared to a mediator, the most important one is to render a final decision that is binding for all parties involved in the dispute. This decision is the arbitral award. To start an arbitral proceeding it is necessary for the disputing parties to sign an arbitration agreement, whose main purpose is to devolve to the arbitrator the power to decide their dispute. The arbitration agreement can be a separate contract or a clause insert in the contract concluded by parties. It is common for an arbitration agreement to contain details regarding the proceeding such as the number of arbitrators, their appointment procedure and laws applicable to the dispute.
Arbitration has several benefits including the ones already mentioned for the mediation proceeding, confidentiality and time-saving. Additionally, since this proceeding leads to a final and binding decision, disputing parties are allowed to agree on the rules and laws applicable to their dispute to obtain a decision that is closer to their needs.
3.Mediation or Arbitration: Which method is more suitable for you?
In considering which between arbitration-mediation is more suitable for your needs, it is important to evaluate the relationship you have with the other party and if you are interested in preserving such a relationship. Among ADR methods, mediation is more suitable to keep the relationship between disputing parties because this is a non-litigation method. On the other hand, arbitration is more similar to a court proceeding in which a third person decides the dispute, arbitration is a litigation method. However, arbitration ensures parties a final decision while mediation could also terminate without a settlement agreement, therefore parties who want to end their dispute should proceed to court or choose arbitration.
The Thailand Arbitration Center (THAC) is an institution that provides alternative dispute resolution services, comprising of arbitration and mediation, for cross-border disputes. It offers high standard ADR services, including panels of experienced arbitrators and mediators, affordable administration fees and state-of-the-art facilities for in-person and remote hearings. The Thailand Arbitration Center is located in the heart of Bangkok (Phrom Phong BTS station) one of the most international and vibrant cities in South-East Asia. The THAC is easily accessible with its convenient locale in the vicinity of international airports.