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1 What is the difference between arbitration and mediation/conciliation?

In an arbitration, the arbitrator looks into the legal rights and wrongs of a dispute and makes a decision. Once the arbitrator has arrived at a decision, it is binding on parties whether they agree with it or not. It is very much like the way a court case is decided by a judge, except that the process does not take place in a court room, and it is not open to the public. As in a court case, there is usually a winning and a losing party in an arbitration.

In a mediation, the mediator, essentially, helps parties to settle their disputes by a process of discussion and narrowing differences. The mediator helps the parties to arrive at an agreed solution. He does not decide the dispute. A successful mediation results in an agreement signed by the parties, whereas a contested arbitration results in a decision by the arbitrator himself without the agreement of the parties. In a mediation, there is no such thing as a winning or losing party, because there is no binding decision without both parties agreeing to one.

2 What are the advantages of resolving disputes by arbitration?

Arbitration is a less formal procedure than court litigation, and it is conducted in private, away from the glare of the media and the public. Parties are free to appoint their own arbitrators and can choose more practical procedures and rules for the conduct of an arbitration. Arbitration awards are final and binding, and have extra-territorial enforceability in over 130 countries under the New York Convention. Generally, arbitration can also be more cost-efficient and speedier than court litigation.

3 To commence arbitration proceedings, what do I do?

Arbitration is a consensual process; both parties will have to agree to submit the dispute to arbitration. As a first step, parties should check their agreement to find out if there is an arbitration clause. Even if there is none, parties can still agree to submit the dispute to arbitration. This post-dispute agreement should be in writing. Once either step is fulfilled, a Notice of Arbitration has to be filed with the Registrar of CIAC.

4 How much will it cost to arbitrate at the CIAC?

Please click on the heading “Fees” on this website for a detailed note on CIAC’s fee structure.

5 Place of arbitration and place of hearing? What is the difference?

The place of arbitration (also commonly referred to as the 'seat of arbitration') determines the governing procedural law of the arbitration and the enforceability of the award. The place of hearing, on the other hand, is the physical location where the hearing is held. This may be different from the place or seat of arbitration.

6 Are parties required to appointing arbitrators from CIAC's panel of arbitrators when arbitrating under CIAC arbitration rules?

Yes, parties are to appoint arbitrators from CIAC's panel of arbitrators when arbitrating under the CIAC arbitration rules.

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