Arbitration and alternative dispute resolution


Confidentiality, flexibility, expertise, time- and resource-saving procedures - these are some of the most important advantages of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). But what is the idea behind arbitration, conciliation or mediation? What different methods of dispute resolution are there, how can one ensure a proper procedure and which procedure is the right one for a particular dispute?

The German Arbitration Institute (DIS) offers companies and other parties to disputes many opportunities to resolve disputes without having to resort to state courts. For this purpose, we provide our own widely recognized set of rules and provide information about their use. By its administration of proceedings, the DIS ensures compliance with the rules of procedure and the smooth conduct of proceedings. Learn more about the individual procedures below.

Early dispute prevention

Companies are dedicated to achieving success while disputes are often quite burdensome: they demand a considerable amount of time, energy and resources and ultimately, they can be a risk to the success of the company.

Modern dispute management in companies entails preventive measures for resolving tensions at an early stage and avoiding disputes in the first place. However, if a dispute does arise, it is important to intervene quickly and select the most appropriate instrument for resolving the dispute depending on its stage of development.

The DIS promotes early dispute resolution. We provide information for companies and support them in their dispute management. In particular, methods of dispute resolution can already be included in the negotiation of agreements and contracts in order to minimise disruptions in the subsequent dispute resolution process.

The DIS offers a set of procedural rules for different dispute resolution mechanisms and corresponding model clauses for companies to agree on already at the time of conclusion of the contract. However, parties to a dispute can also agree on the application of one or more DIS rules once the dispute develops or has already arisen.

All sets of rules are designed to be as concise and flexible as possible, with the result that the parties to a dispute are afforded considerable freedom to adapt.

Arbitration or court proceedings are always the ultima ratio.

Procedural flexibility – early dispute resolution

In contrast to court proceedings, parties to alternative dispute resolution proceedings can largely determine the nature and course of the dispute resolution process themselves.

Even during dispute resolution proceedings, the disputing parties can flexibly influence the course of the process, and resolve the dispute by various means.

The DIS Arbitration Rules 2018 follow the tradition of German commercial arbitration by promoting amicable settlement of disputes. This feature distinguishes the DIS Arbitration Rules 2018 from arbitration rules of other arbitration institutions. The core of this principle can be found in Article 26 DIS Arbitration Rules 2018:

Zitat Element

“Unless any party objects thereto, the arbitral tribunal shall, at every stage of the arbitration, seek to encourage an amicable settlement of the dispute or of individual disputed issues.”

Article 26, 2018 DIS Arbitration Rules

The purpose of this provision is to encourage arbitral tribunals to reach an amicable settlement of the dispute or of individual contentious issues at any stage of arbitration proceedings. This approach will normally be to the benefit of all parties.

For example, the parties may, by mutual agreement, move to mediation or arbitration and, if necessary, back to arbitration. The arbitral tribunal may record the result of a settlement in the form of an arbitral award on agreed terms.

Choosing the right dispute resolution procedure

The DIS offers both consensus-oriented and decision-oriented procedures. In the following overview, different types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures are systematically presented on the basis of their practical outcomes and legal effects.

Chart - Legal effects

The DiReCT-Tool also offers a detailed comparison of different types of proceedings, based on concrete information of the dispute.

Dispute Manager

Many companies would like to settle their disputes out of court, or at least attempt to do so. Choosing the right dispute resolution procedure is not always easy. The DIS provides support in choosing the right procedure for your dispute. Upon request by the parties, the DIS can appoint an independent Dispute Manager who can advise and assist the parties in selecting the dispute resolution mechanism best suited to resolve their dispute.

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