As already discussed in an article about mediation, the South African legal court system is relatively busy and crowded with matters, resulting in long wait times to have matters heard. In this article, I will write about arbitration as an option to mediation and court litigation to having a matter finalised.
What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is a way of settling a matter, out of a formal state court with “as-close-as-possible” of a court setting without actually going to court. Arbitration takes place before an Arbitrator, being a neutral third party whose aim is to hear a matter from both sides, similar to the way in which a magistrate or judge would hear a matter in court.
When to Arbitrate?
Arbitration is usually a viable option in the instance when a matter may be slightly more time sensitive and the wait to get to court may be detrimental to the interests of the parties.
Arbitration proceedings usually take place when both parties are amenable to have the matter arbitrated out of court and the factor of such a consensual interest in the proceedings usually gives rise to the decision to arbitrate.
Arbitration may in certain instances be slightly less formal and due to not taking place in a public court, the proceedings will be closed. This may be in the interests of the parties if the subject matter is sensitive.
Arbitration can however be more costly due to proceedings having to be booked and paid for privately by the parties. An Arbitrator will also have to be appointed.
Should the parties like to have their matter heard according a different set of rules to those of a court, the parties may consent thereto for the purposes of arbitration.
Should a matter be finalised by arbitration, it is advisable for the parties to approach a court to have the arbitration award made an order of court.
Should the above sound like a possible solution to a problem you may have or if your require assistance with arranging arbitration proceedings, feel free to give us a call and we will assist with any arrangements which need to be made regarding arbitration.