Mediation vs Arbitration – Difference Between Mediation and Arbitration

Mediation vs Arbitration – Difference Between Mediation and Arbitration

When having a disagreement with another, you can decide to go nasty, or you can choose the less nasty option (regarding what you have to deal with) that is more pleasant. If you decide to be discreet and kind, then you will have to choose either mediation as opposed to arbitration as a process of settling your argument agreeably. Mediation is a process where the dispute is solved by the parties themselves. While arbitration is a process when the parties give the decision of dispute to the arbitrator.

However, before you proceed with any of these two, you need to understand the difference between mediation and arbitration. But just before we answer this question, we will try to explain the terms first.

Definition of Mediation – So What Is Mediation?

Mediation is defined as a disagreement resolution process where a third party neutrally facilitates discussions in hopes of reaching a common ground among the disputing parties. A typical dispute resolution process of such nature would involve at least two rivalries, their legal representatives, and one mediator (that is the neutral third party).

This form of resolving a case is usually common among persons who may wish to amicably settle their differences. It does not involve any form of order issuance, fault finding, the need for evidence, or the passing of judgments. It is purely a carefully navigated discussion to help both parties reach a mutually acceptable settlement.

There are different mediation procedures, but the mediator will typically meet with every party involved to establish the key issues. Then the mediator meets with them separately to discuss with each side how to settle the problem. They may have to go back and forth between the sides, serving as the middle person and offering innovative solutions.

Fundamentally, this process is operatively less formal and cost-effective considering how mediation vs arbitration compares to each other. Also, both parties enjoy a great deal of privacy, and the whole procedure takes less time. The agreement is documented and signed as required.

Definition of Arbitration – So What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is defined as a less-formal court-like proceeding where a panel of an arbitrator makes a legally binding decision based on the legal rights and wrongs of a conflict. It is usually conducted outside the courtroom and is common in cases of contract disagreements. It is also common among disputing parties that wish to settle their quarrel privately.

A unique feature of this process is that both parties are at liberty to select anyone they wish to serve as their arbitrator; he or she is the one to officially settle the case. If the parties involved do not agree on a particular person to serve as their arbitrator, they may have to give up this liberty to choose and let an independent body make the appointment.

To start with, there is a hearing, pre-trial process, trial process, and then the final stage where the arbitrators would issue a legally binding decision. This decision can be recorded at the court and enforced like a court order.

Comparing arbitration vs mediation, one of the obvious differences between the two is that the resolution in the case of the former is legally binding, which is not the case with the latter.

What Is the Main Difference Between Mediation and Arbitration?

Basis of ComparisonMediation Arbitration
Definition The joint selection of a reliable individual whose responsibility is to find a mutual way of solving an issue. A private legal resolution where the parties concerned willingly submit a case to one or more persons who will review and make a binding decision as a solution to a problem.
Proceeding Negotiation. Need for testimonies and debate.
Decision making Depends on the parties involved. Depends on the arbitrator.
Venue Mostly out of court meetings. Little or no extrajudicial meetings.
Operation Very different to court hearings. Similar to court hearings but not as formal.

So What’s the Difference Between Mediation and Arbitration? – Conclusion

Now you know how these two terms vary, so you can make better decisions as to which suits your purpose. There are quite a lot of things you can say when asked the question – what is the difference between mediation and arbitration? The most notable of them all is that in the second case, the intermediary makes use of legal rights and wrongs before deciding, unlike in the first case.