In mediation, the parties to the dispute can maintain control over the mediation process. They don’t have to continue with the process if they don’t feel it will be beneficial.
With arbitration, the parties give up decision making control to a neutral third party (the arbitrator). The parties to the dispute frequently have decided in advance when they signed a contract that any dispute will be resolved by arbitration instead of in court.
Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution. It is a private dispute resolution process where an independent third party makes a decision. An arbitration hearing may involve the use of an individual arbitrator or a tribunal/panel. Usually a tribunal consists of between one and three arbitrators. The disputing parties hand over their power to decide the dispute to the arbitrator(s). Arbitration is an alternative to going to court. Generally, arbitration is just as final (there are limited opportunities to appeal the arbitrator’s decision) and binding (meaning the parties must comply with the arbitrator’s decision. In this sense, arbitration is different than negotiation and mediation, which are non-binding. The rules of evidence in arbitration are generally less strict than court proceedings.
Arbitration is generally faster, less formal and less expensive than court proceedings.
Kevin Kelly has acted as an arbitrator and administrative tribunal decision maker in many disputes. He has Certificates in Arbitration and Administrative Justice and is a nationally accredited arbitrator.