In: Business and Management

Submitted By dwaggitt
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Arbitration as a mechanism for resolving disputes has an ancient history stretching back thousands of years and was primarily based upon the principles of fairness and common sense. The origins of arbitration go back to dispute settlements in Roman law, Asia and Greece and Aristotle is reported to say an arbitrator goes to the equity of the case but a judge decides strictly with the rule of law. Philip the Second, the father of Alexander the Great, was an arbitrator who used this method to settle territorial disputes with the Southern States of Greece dated to be around 337 BC In England the use of arbitration is older than the common law system upon which English law is based and was a functioning process in use to settle commercial disputes between merchants on market days in the Middle Ages. The Guilds of London and the “The Great Twelve Livery Companies” that date back to the 14th century demonstrated that this practice was of a great importance to resolve many disagreements that were brought within their halls.
The English Courts did however perceive arbitration as a competitor to their authority and in particular as a disruption to the revenue that flowed into them as Judges were paid on the number of cases that they had to deal with. The Courts were also suspicious as to the standards being applied in these arbitrations at that time. It was not until the 20th Century that the courts began to recognise the decisions of arbitrators and the close control by the courts over arbitration was slowly diminished. The result of legislation from the Arbitration 1950 Act, the 1975 and 1979 Acts to the Arbitration 1996 Act and the cases that have been decided under the umbrella of these Acts bear witness to show arbitration to be a companion to the judiciary rather than a rival.
Commercial entities recognise that Arbitration can be expeditious where the courts and…...

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