Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, has made a judgment in the case of S v S, in which he upheld the decision (award) made through a private arbitration.
The judgment made clear that, in the view of the President, “there is no conceptual difference between the parties making an agreement and agreeing to give an arbitrator the power to make the decision for them.”
This means that family arbitration awards effectively hold the same weight as agreements made between parties through mediation or collaborative law.
The President further indicated that the streamlined process, previously applied to orders made under collaborative law should “…be made similarly available in cases where the consent order is the product of an arbitral award under the IFLA Scheme.”
Anyone involved in family law should welcome this judgment, which highlights the many advantages of family arbitration and provides confidence that an arbitrator’s award will help in resolving a dispute.
This judgment (full version below) further underlines the crucial role arbitration can play in resolving family disputes.
Resolution, a founding member of IFLA, issued a press release which can be accessed here
The Family Arbitrator group also made a statement on their website which can be read here