What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution. The parties enter into an agreement under which they appoint a suitably qualified person (an “arbitrator”) to adjudicate a dispute and make an award.

Arbitration has a long history in certain areas. For example, many commercial and construction contracts provide for dispute resolution in this way. Arbitration in family law will be another tool in the box of methods of alternative dispute resolution. At a time when there is a need to find solutions in family disputes outside the courtroom, it is a logical next step to offer arbitration as another means of doing so.

The Rt Hon. the Lord Falconer of Thoroton.

What is IFLA, and the IFLA Scheme?

IFLA and the IFLA Scheme are the result of collaboration between Resolution, the Family Law Bar Association (FLBA), The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and the Centre for Child and Family Law Reform (CCFLR). The Scheme operates under the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA), a not for profit company, the members of which are CIArb, Resolution and the FLBA.  CCFLR is also represented on the Board. IFLA is chaired by Lord Falconer.

The IFLA Scheme has two component parts: The Financial Scheme, launched in 2012, and the Children Arbitration Scheme rolled out in 2016.

Both versions of the Scheme operate under their own Rules (the Rules) both specially designed for the needs of a family arbitration; and are conducted by members of a panel of trained and accredited arbitrators. For more information, please see the Rules (Children Scheme Rules | Financial Scheme Rules) on the website.

IFLA developed the arbitration Scheme to enable parties to resolve family disputes more quickly, cheaply and in a more flexible and less formal setting than a court room. It is also expected to save court resources by reducing pressure on scarce court resources.

The administration of the Scheme is managed by Resolution on behalf of IFLA, and the training and regulation of arbitrators by CIArb.

To find out more about family arbitration and how it could help you please download our helpful Public Guidance.