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Dispute Resolution Law and Practices in South Africa

- Featured article by LAWYERS-ONLINE.CO.ZA - April 2019

Whenever two parties in a disagreement over a civil legal matter, they often settle this dispute by suing one another and battling it out in the court. However, it is often less costly and more efficient to resolve the dispute before it reaches the courts. In South Africa this is done through a mechanism called Alternative Dispute Resolution and, as the name states, these are alternative ways to resolve a civil legal issue outside of the courts. A qualified litigation or dispute resolution lawyer will be essential during the Alternative Dispute Resolution process. Below we will discuss some of the most important aspect dispute resolution and practices in South Africa:


As one of the first avenues of Alternative Dispute Resolution, the negotiation process involves the two parties engaging in fair communication in order to reach a compromise or agreement.


However, should negotiation not work out, mediation is the next logical step. Here a third party with neutral interest (the mediator) will help the parties work out their difference in order to come to an agreement.


Should mediation fail, the final step would be to engage in arbitration. Here a skilled arbitrator will listen to both parties and then set out the award (decision). If the parties agree to this, it can be binding.

There are disadvantages and advantages to engaging in Alternative Dispute Resolution practices, but overall it is agreed that in certain civil matters it will be in the interest of both parties to save their time and money by keeping the matter out of the courts.

If you are in need of dispute resolution, reach out to us and we will connect you with a lawyer who meets your needs. Don’t let the courts be your final destination, instead, talk to a dispute resolution expert and understand the options before, after all, the prevention of a dispute might be best for everyone involved.

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