Arbitration company hopes to relieve courts' heavy caseload

Dalia Rabin and former head of the Courts Administration Dan Arbel announce launching of a new private arbitration company.

rabin memorial 298  (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
rabin memorial 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Dalia Rabin and former head of the Courts Administration Dan Arbel on Tuesday announced the launching of a new private arbitration company which they hope will help relieve the heavy caseload of the regular courts system. The company, called Private Courts for Israel, constitutes "an appropriate and professional alternative for all those cases that the courts have difficulty dealing with," said Dalia Rabin, head of the Yitzhak Rabin Center, who has been appointed president of the new company. Rabin said that despite the improved efficiency of the courts over the past few years, 600,000 files get stuck in the system each year. According to Arbel, some companies do not seek compromise solutions, which the mediation process tries to find, but want clear-cut decisions in favor of one side or the other. This is what the arbitration process seeks to do. There are 300,000-400,000 disputes each year between business companies and only 300 judges in the entire system to handle them, he continued. "The problem is not the numbers," said Arbel. "The problem is the depth and complexity of many of these cases." According to Arbel, because of the heavy burden of cases they must deal with, judges do not have the time to get to the bottom of the complex ones. Instead, they often try to pressure the sides to reach a compromise solution in order to conclude the case faster. But this is not always the most just outcome. In such cases, arbitration can give the case the attention it deserves and come up with a fairer decision. According to Rabin and Arbel, the main advantage of their company is that it offers disputants a wide choice of arbitrators to choose from, including former judges, lawyers and accountants. The retired judges include Arbel and Boaz Okun, both former directors of the Courts Administration, Yehoshua Ben-Shlomo, David Goldstein, Bilha Cahana and Ya'acov Shimoni. Twenty-six lawyers and seven accountants are also signed up and more will join the list soon, said Rabin. The company will offer disputants two tracks, the fast track and the regular track. It guarantees that on the fast track, the arbitrator will decide by the end of one month. Cases on the regular track will be completed in three to six months. Another special feature is the appeal option. Currently, none of the private arbitrators offer the losing side the possibility of appealing the decision. Because the company will have many arbitrators to choose from, it does offer that possibility. Rabin added that Private Courts for Israel will also maintain strong links with the academic community and will have an advisory committee headed by Professor Yedidya Stern, former dean of the law faculty at Bar-Ilan University.