Tribunal panel have expertise in the matter under dispute I.e. Employment tribunal usually has an experienced lawyer as chairperson and the lay members will have practical experience in business.
Reasons for decisions
Under s10 of the Tribunals and Enquiries Act 1992 tribunals must give reasons for their decisions
No legal representation is essential. No fee charged. Each party pays their own legal costs. Public funding available in a few cases such as Mental Health Review Tribunal.
No one on the panel wears an official outfit which allows parties to relax and present their case with confidence.
Do not follow precedents, so are more flexible in their decision making. Strict rules of evidence do not apply.
Cases are usually heard quickly. Trial date is set soon after the claim and the final hearing is usually completed within one day.
Proceedings taken before a tribunal aren't as highly publicised as court hearings.
They relieve congestion in the court system.
Arbitrators have specialist knowledge of the relevant area under dispute, allowing fair and speedy decisions. I.e. the arbitrator in a building dispute is likely to be a surveyor.
Proceedings are conducted in private and decision is not published by the media.
Parties agree time, date and venue to meet with the arbitrator.
Enforceability of the award
Results in a binding award from the arbitrator, with which both parties must comply.
No court fees.
Process is less formal than the courts. No complex rules of evidence and lawyers are discouraged.
Quicker than the courts. Hearing takes place earlier and will usually take less than a day.
Cost-saving to the State
Frees courts from dealing with disputes.
Speed and convenience
Quicker process than the courts. Parties can arrange the date, time and venue. Process allows the parties to continue their business or personal relationship.
Lack of formality
Less formal process. No complex rules of evidence. Lawyers are discouraged.
No decision forced upon the parties, so both are generally happy with the outcome.
Cheap process. No court fees or lawyers. Public funding is available for mediation in family cases.
Mediators are usually specialists in the area of the dispute. Usually trained in mediation by the Centre for Dispute Resolution. Difficult to facilitate the resolution between parties with strong emotions such as a family case.
Proceedings are conducted in private. Decision is not publicised by the media. Enables the parties to keep their disputes between themselves, to save a reputation.
Pro-active element of conciliator
Conciliator is independent of the parties and has the power and ability to suggest and advise on offers made by the parties. Parties have security with their advice, which comes from a neutral source. Dispute is settled on agreed terms.
Conciliator has expert knowledge and experience of the disputes. ACAS conciliators are experts in the area of employment law.
(Conciliation is very similar to Mediation, so will share the advantages, as well as disadvantages.)
Process is quicker, made with mutual convenience.
Simple as is solely the two parties communicating with one another, and the decision is in a form not sanctioned by the court process, such as a letter of apology.
Least expensive of all forms of ADR. No court or legal fees.
Proceedings conducted in private, decision is not publicised. Settlement is confidential.