Opting for conciliation or mediation rather than arbitration makes it possible to save both time and money, as both conciliation and mediation enable the opposing parties to resolve their differences or clear up misunderstandings and underlying disagreements instead of devoting resources to trying to convince an arbitration tribunal of the correctness of their claims through the exchange of pleadings, tribunal hearings, etc.
Conciliation should be used if the parties want a conciliator with technical expertise to conciliate between the parties and, on request, present a proposal for settlement. The conciliator will typically have experience from working for the Arbitration Board as a technical arbitrator, a specialist expert or an expert appraiser.
Mediation should be chosen if the parties want an independent and impartial negotiator who does not provide legal or technical advice and does not present any proposals for settlement. Through the mediation procedures the parties receive help in coming up with the best solution themselves. The mediator will always have good knowledge of the industry in question, and only mediators who have received special mediator training are used.
The parties may challenge the appointment of a conciliator or mediator within three days of the appointment. Generally, the parties are requested to finalise the conciliation or mediation procedure within fifteen days following the date of appointment. It is up to the parties to decide whether they wish the assistance of an adviser, for example a lawyer.
In the event of a successful outcome, an agreement is drafted and signed by the parties. If the outcome is not successful, it will be necessary to resolve the dispute in some other way, which will typically be in the form of an arbitration case. The parties are likely to find that the preceding conciliation or mediation has reduced the areas of disagreement and has reduced the scale of the case.
The Arbitration Board has rules for both conciliation and mediation. The rules of procedure are the same, but there are great differences in the roles of conciliators and mediators.