Arbitration is a speedy process as well as a cost-saving mechanism given how long civil litigation takes in South Africa. Another reason for arbitration is that arbitrators can be assigned to deal with specific matters of a specific nature. For instance, in cases of accounting or law, an arbitrator who has the necessary skill and experience in such technical areas would be assigned. Such an individual would be better suited to understand the nuances and technicalities of the profession. Impartiality and confidentiality of arbitration proceedings are other pros for arbitration where civil litigation is, for the most part, publicly held.
Over time the practices have developed and become more streamlined with various manners in which they can be conducted / forms of arbitration. The following are some forms of arbitration –
- Last-offer arbitration – this form of arbitration is used in monetary negotiations and can include salary negotiation, sports or media payments or imbursements. The negotiating sides will submit their offers to the impartial and objective arbitrator who will make the decision as to the best offer. The parties are bound by the final decision of the arbitrator;
- Expedited arbitration – this form involves doing away with certain evidence as well as time periods for the exchange of documents;
- Documents-only arbitration – this form is in its name: only documents are used and not oral evidence or submissions with no real material disputes of fact; and
- Private judging – this involves parties making submissions to an impartial and objective third party who will make the decision which is binding where parties have the option of appealing the decision.
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