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Mediation vs Arbitration


Role of the mediator: In mediation, a neutral third party, known as the mediator, facilitates communication and negotiation between the disputing parties. The mediator does not have the power to make a decision or impose a resolution.

Voluntary process: Mediation is typically a voluntary process, meaning the disputing parties willingly participate and have control over the outcome. They can choose to end the mediation at any time if they are unsatisfied.

Informal and flexible: Mediation is less formal than arbitration. It allows for a more flexible process, where the parties have greater control over the discussion and can explore creative solutions.

Non-binding: The mediator's role is to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement, but the decision reached in mediation is not legally binding unless the parties choose to formalize it in a separate agreement.

Focus on communication and resolution: Mediation emphasizes open communication and understanding between the parties. The goal is to find a resolution that satisfies both sides' interests, rather than determining who is right or wrong.


Role of the arbitrator: In arbitration, a neutral third party, known as the arbitrator, acts as a judge-like figure who reviews the evidence presented by the parties and makes a binding decision or award.

Binding process: Arbitration is often a binding process, meaning the parties agree to abide by the arbitrator's decision, which is legally enforceable.

Formal procedure: Arbitration follows a more formal procedure, resembling a simplified version of a court trial. The parties present their cases and evidence, and the arbitrator makes a decision based on the facts and applicable laws.

Limited appeal options: Unlike court judgments, the scope for appealing an arbitral award is generally narrower. The grounds for appeal are usually limited to specific legal errors or procedural irregularities.

Decision-making authority: In arbitration, the arbitrator has the authority to render a decision and impose a resolution upon the parties. The decision is typically final and binding, with limited recourse for review.

Overall, mediation focuses on facilitating communication and reaching a mutually agreed resolution, while arbitration involves a more formal process where an arbitrator makes a binding decision.