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1. What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a method for resolving disputes that provides an alternative to court proceedings. It is governed by the Arbitration Ordinance (Cap. 609). Before an arbitration takes place, the disputing parties must agree to take their dispute to arbitration. An agreement to take any disputes to arbitration is often made before the dispute arises and is often included as a clause in commercial contracts. In signing a contract with an arbitration clause, the parties have agreed that their dispute will not be heard by the court but by a private individual or a panel of several private individuals (i.e. the arbitrators). Arbitration is a legal process which results in an award being issued by the arbitrator(s). The award is final and binding on the parties and can only be challenged in exceptional circumstances.