Conciliation and Arbitration By Shelton Mahandana

Alternative dispute resolution – is a dispute resolution technique which enable parties to resolve their disputes and disagreements. It settles the dispute by discussions and negotiations.

Conciliation and arbitration are two types of alternative dispute resolution. They are used as alternative for resolving disputes. Even though it is safe to say that their purpose is the same there are a number of differences between them.

Conciliation is a method of resolving dispute, wherein an independent person helps the parties to arrive at negotiated settlement.

Arbitration is a dispute settlement process in which an impartial third party is appointed to study the dispute and hear both the party to arrive at a decision binding on both the parties.

Differences between Conciliation and Arbitration


  • The commissioner meets with the parties in disputes to settle and search ways in which they can settle the matter by reaching an agreement which caters for both.
  • The parties themselves decide.
  • Available only for existing disputes
  • No calling of witnesses to support your statement.
  • No legal representation is allowed.


  • The commissioner gives both parties an opportunity to fully present their both cases.
  • After hearing both sides the commissioner makes a binding decision by issuing an award.
  • Available for the existing and future disputes.
  • Witnesses can be called to support your case.
  • Legal representation is allowed.

Arbitration and Conciliation both handle industrial disputes. But both have different procedure and ways to resolve the disputes. Arbitration resolves disputes after hearing the statements of parties whereas conciliation helps them to arrive at negotiated settlement or resolve their differences. Industrial disputes are nothing but the differences and conflicts between the employees and employers.

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