ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Jewish Law (Halochah) mandates that legal disputes between members of the Jewish faith be dealt with in accordance with Torah Law. As such, it is paramount that litigants, claimants and respondents approach a reputable Beth Din (Court of Jewish Law) or, alternatively, a competent Dayan (Rabbinical Judge) in order to present their case and reach a resolution to their dispute either through Halachic Arbitration or Halachic Mediation.
Halachic Arbitration (דין תורה) by either a competent Dayan or a Beth Din is a perfectly valid way of resolving most* commercial and civil disputes, in accordance with the Arbitration Act of 1996 (UK). It is also accepted in other jurisdictions and countries as well (i.e. USA) by dint of the fact that both parties sign and commit to a binding deed of arbitration prior to the commencements of any proceedings. As a result, an Award (פסק דין) issued pursuant to such Halachic Arbitration is fully binding and enforceable by the civil courts.
Halachic Mediation (גישור) by either a competent Dayan or a Beth Din is a valid way of reaching a resolution but differs from an Arbitration, in that the Mediator's function is to bring the involved parties to a mutually acceptable outcome and agreement. The Mediator, therefore, does not have the power to issue a legally binding and enforceable Award (פסק דין) but rather, at the successful outcome of a Mediation, the Mediator draws up a Settlement Agreement, acceptable to and accepted by both parties, which may, in turn, be added on to a Court Order by the parties themselves.
* Ancillary relief pursuant to a divorce, access to children and inheritance fall outside the scope of the Arbitration Act of 1996 and are, therefore, not eligible for Arbitration but may be eligible for Mediation.
Articles of Interest
Bringing Disputes to a Din Torah
In Depth Analysis of Halachic Alternative Dispute Resolution