Adjudication: Not Well Suited to Resolving Polycentric Disputes
In adjudication, a dispute is brought before a third party, who decides on the outcome. This is in contrast to mediation or negotiation, where the parties themselves try to come to an agreement. Adjudication is often seen as a last resort, to be used when mediation has failed. It is also often used in cases where there is a big difference between the parties in terms of power or resources.
2. What is adjudication?
Adjudication can be defined in the broadest sense as taking the role of the judge in a dispute between two parties as a form of social ordering. It entails making a decision which is legally binding on the parties and can be enforced through state institutions if necessary. This form of dispute resolution has existed for centuries and is still used today in various forms, such as arbitration, litigation and adjudication.
3. Polycentric adjudication
Polycentric adjudication is a type of adjudication that is used when there are multiple parties involved in a dispute, and each party has its own interests and goals. This type of adjudication is often used in cases where the parties are located in different countries or jurisdictions. In these cases, it is not possible for one court to hear the case and make a decision that would be binding on all of the parties. Instead, each party has its own lawyer and they argue their case before a panel of judges. The panel of judges then makes a decision that is binding on all of the parties.
4. Inapplicability of adjudication to polycentric disputes
Adjudication is not well suited to resolving polycentric disputes because it assumes that there is one correct answer to the dispute that can be arrived at through reasoned argument and debate. However, in polycentric disputes there are often multiple correct answers, depending on which interest or goal you are trying to achieve. For example, if you are trying to resolve a dispute between two companies who are trying to sell products in the same market, there might be multiple correct answers depending on whether you are trying to promote competition or protect consumer welfare.
5. Consequences of adjudication
The main consequence of adjudication is that it creates winners and losers. This can lead to bitterness and resentment between the parties, which can hamper future negotiations and make it more difficult to resolve disputes amicably. In addition, adjudication can be very costly and time-consuming, particularly if the case goes to appeal. It can also be disruptive for businesses as they have to prepare for and participate in the adjudication process.
6. Recommended alternatives to adjudication
If you are involved in a polycentric dispute, there are alternative dispute resolution mechanisms that are more suitable than adjudication. These include mediation and arbitration. In mediation, a neutral third party helps the parties to reach an agreement that meets their needs and interests. In arbitration, an arbitrator hears both sides of the case and makes a binding decision on the matter under dispute.
Adjudication is not well suited to resolving polycentric disputes. It creates winners and losers, is costly and time-consuming, and can be disruptive for businesses. Mediation and arbitration are recommended alternatives to adjudication in these cases.