ADRs or Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures refers to the different methods to resolve disputes other than litigations. Among the various forms of ADRs, negotiation, is by and large, the most common one adopted before other ADR protocols are being considered. The general trademarks of these ADRs are the confidentiality of proceedings, party autonomy and the independence & neutrality of the tribunal.



Arbitration is a consensual process by which the parties of a dispute submit their differences to one or more impartial parties for a final and binding decision. Being an orderly proceeding, arbitration is substantially less formal than court proceedings with hearings conducted in private. Parties are free to choose their own arbitrator or arbitrators, rules and procedures. Parties can also decide on the venue of their arbitration. Confidentiality is ensured and the disputes are expeditiously resolved in a practical manner. It is an alternative to dispute resolution by litigation in a court of law.

Adjudication is commonly known in other jurisdictions (UK and New South Wales) as the mandatory "first-tier" ADR. The independent adjudicator provides a final and binding decision unless and until it is revised by the eventual tribunal (court or arbitration). Normally conducted on paper without a full hearing, the adjudicator is given a relatively shorter time frame to reach a decision on the dispute.

Mediation is a voluntary, non-confrontational and binding process using a neutral party to guide the parties towards a mutual beneficial resolution of their dispute. It is more popularly adopted in family and community disputes. The confidentiality, cost effectiveness and time efficiency are among the advantages. The outcome of a settlement is not bound by judicial constraints (i.e., the settlement may include terms beyond the issues arising out of the underlying contract.) When settlement is reached, the mediator prepares an agreement which subsequently becomes a legally binding contract.


Med-Arb is a hybrid form of mediation and arbitration - mediation is encompassed within the arbitration process and the mediator may also become the arbitrator with the express consent of the parties. In the event a settlement is reached during the mediation phase, the settlement may be recorded as a consent arbitral award. However, if the parties fail to reach a settlement, they may opt for the same mediator to act as their arbitrator if they do not wish to appoint a new arbitrator.


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