When it comes to the judicial system, unless you’re a lawyer or attorney, it’s very easy to get confused. With so much legal jargon and laws, navigating the waters can be tricky, and overwhelming. There are three primary types of resolution when it comes to international disputes: arbitration, litigation and negotiation. Read on for a brief description of each.
1. International arbitration. Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution technique. It involves a third party who serves as a judge. The neutral party listens to both sides and then hands down a decision based on the evidence and arguments. Arbitration of international disputes is more informal and typically costs much less than litigation. It is also private and confidential and can be either binding or non binding.
2. International litigation. This is the most well-known method of resolving international disputes, and the most rigorous. The defendant and plaintiff both present their arguments in front of a judge or jury and it goes on public record. Because this is such a lengthy and costly process, it is usually the last resort, used if one party is not compliant or only if an agreement outside of court cannot be reached. Especially in international disputes where parties are from different countries, litigation can get very complicated and arduous.
3. International negotiation (also known as mediation). This is ideal because it doesn’t require any actual time in court. (In fact, only about 5 percent of cases actually end up going to court.) A neutral third party, usually a professional mediator, helps the two affected parties come to an agreement and settle outside of the court. Many law practices offer mediation services to their clients before moving to litigation as this is the ideal way to reach a compromise and usually results in a win-win situation for both parties.
From contract breaches to securities fraud, international disputes are rarely easy to resolve. Because each country has its own set of laws and regulations, coming to a resolution is often a long and laborious process. However, these three primary types of resolution each strive to overcome international disputes in the most fair and equal way possible.