Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution.
The parties enter into an agreement under which they appoint a suitably qualified person (an “arbitrator”) to adjudicate a dispute and make an award.
The Determination by the Arbitrator is legally binding. However, it is possible to appeal if there have been legal errors or serious irregularity.
It can allow parents to get quick decisions without needing to go to Court. It can also work well with Family Mediation.
IFLA and the IFLA Scheme is the result of collaboration between Resolution, the Family Law Bar Association (FLBA), The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and the Centre for Child and Family Law Reform (CCFLR).
In 2012, IFLA launched a scheme to resolve family financial disputes through arbitration.
The Scheme has its own Rules that apply to a family arbitration; and a panel of trained and accredited arbitrators. In 2016 this was extended to children cases.
Here is a link to the IFLA website: http://ifla.org.uk/
Ian Walker is one of the founding Children Scheme Arbitrators.
To the right is helpful video discussing arbitration in family cases.
Why choose Children Arbitration?
Ideally parents who cannot agree about the arrangements of their children will be able to achieve a negotiated solution through mediation.
However, there are sometimes issues of principle where parents simply cannot agree. For example: a change of surname or choice of school. Arbitration offers a way to resolve these disputes in a way that is legally binding – but which has advantages over Court Proceedings Arbitration is about making good and speedy decisions for children.
Family arbitration is likely to be a lot quicker than going to court. Decisions can be made in days – particularly with a Paper Arbitration.
The court process can be long, complicated and expensive. It can increase conflict. Delay in making decisions for children has long been considered to be against their best interests.
Parents can choose the venue and arrange meetings for dates and times that suit them. Parents can choose their family arbitrator. This means that if they have specific requirements, they can find a family arbitrator with the specialist knowledge that will help resolve their unique dispute.
In theory an Arbitration Hearing could take place in an evening or over a weekend. The Hearing could be in a hired meeting room or at the office of one of the parties Solicitors.
Parents can decide whether the process is document only, conducted via telephone, or by face-to-face meetings.
Issues may be dealt with all at once, or one after the other. Parents can decide whether they want the family arbitrator to look at the whole of a dispute or one part of it.
We offer a service through which decisions are made based on written statements from the parties. This assists decisions being made very quickly and really helps to keep costs down.
Family arbitration is essentially private. The media are not entitled to attend hearings.
The parties, their representatives, the arbitrator, and any others agreed will be permitted to be there.
What law applies to an arbitration under the Scheme?
The law of England and Wales applies to all arbitrations under the Scheme.
The parties are not at liberty to apply a different law to the arbitration. If they seek to do so, the arbitration cannot be conducted under the Scheme.
In other words decisions are made in accordance with the principles of the Children Act 1989.
Who are the Arbitrators?
The pool of Arbitrators is a small and select one. It consists of experienced Solicitors and Barristers and retired Judges.
Potential Arbitrators need to be accepted onto a training programme. Candidates need to demonstrate their specific experience and be recommended as suitable to become an Arbitrator by two Judges. They also have to pass an assessment (which is marked blind).
Ian Walker has been a member of the Law Society Children Panel since 1996. He regularly deal with complex problems regarding children’s lives.
Ian was recommended to become an Arbitrator on the Children Scheme by two local Judges. Ian is also a Family Mediator – qualifying in 1996. He supervises other mediators and am able to meet with children as part of the mediation process. In addition, He has served as a member of the Law Society Family Law Committee and as a trustee of the Family Mediators Association. He is the Chair of the Devon region of Resolution.
Ian has a wealth of relevant experience. We have a separate page covering charges, but you will see that these are extremely competitive.
You may have questions such as: What are the different types of arbitration? What are the arbitration rules and procedures? What is the arbitration process step by step? Or can arbitration help in family disputes? We have created an FAQ’s page that can help answer those questions.
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