There are a number of dispute resolution procedures that can be used as an alternative to costly and drawn-out litigation. The most common of these are arbitration and mediation. These services are offered by our Dispute Resolution Lawyers.
- You are encouraged to develop mediation and other cost-effective dispute resolution and prevention techniques in all your commercial and public-sector dealings.
- In the first instance, provision should be made in all your agreements that should any dispute, disagreement or claim arise between the parties concerning that agreement, the parties must try to resolve the dispute by negotiation. This entails that the one party invites the other in writing to meet and to attempt to resolve the dispute within 7 (seven) days from the date of the written invitation.
- The dispute will in the first instance be referred to a dispute resolution committee (perhaps comprising the chairman or a nominated non-executive director of each of the parties). The obligation to refer to such committee should be binding. Each member of the committee will have a single vote and the procedure will be subject to appropriate time restrictions. The decision of such committee will not be binding upon the parties.
- If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute on this basis, then any such dispute, difference or question will be submitted to and determined by arbitration or mediation.
- Arbitration is a procedure whereby the parties jointly appoint an impartial third party to resolve the dispute between them in accordance with their legal rights. The most important feature of arbitration is its consensual basis, which makes it a particularly flexible procedure. The parties can adapt the procedure, taking into consideration the nature of the dispute as well as the amount at stake.
- Amongst the many organisations which facilitate the running of arbitrations is the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa. International disputes can be administered by the London Court of International Arbitration and the International Chamber of Commerce.
- Mediation is a voluntary procedure whereby the parties jointly appoint an impartial third party to assist them to arrive at an agreed resolution of the dispute, particularly in situations where the parties wish to maintain an ongoing relationship. The decision of such mediator will not be binding upon the parties.