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Power Imbalance in Mediation and Arbitration (but not litigation)

February 13, 2012
  • I’ve not yet defined power imbalance or explained why it’s such an important issue in mediation and arbitration. 
  •  Power imbalance is fact or perception of an unequal bargaining position. 
  • The Arbitration Act of Ontario requires that parties to an arbitration process be first screened for power imbalance by an independent party. 
  • The importance is obvious.  In an extreme example, if one party has told the other that they’ll be killed along with the children unless joint custody is agreed to and ordered, the ability of the party so threatened to effectively argue the case is rather limited. 
  •  Generally, steps can be taken to both identify and overcome power imbalance. 
  • In coming blogs we’ll continue to discuss that important issue.

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