When an arbiter determines the outcome of a dispute (i.e., arbitration).
When an arbiter has concluded the process of arbitration, their judgment is referred to as an arbitrament. Arbitration is when two or more parties wish to settle a dispute through an impartial individual's decisive and unbiased opinion called an arbiter. Upon listening to the arguments presented by all parties involved in the dispute, an arbiter will reach a conclusion referred to as arbitrament. An arbitrament holds the absolute power of decision and – although arbitrations are conducted outside a court of law – it is as binding as a decision by a judge.
Why would you choose to seek an arbiter's arbitrament over a judge's decision? For starters, arbiters are commonly sought out by disputing parties to settle conflicts that pertain to the arbiter's expertise. Another reason why an arbitrament may be preferred is to avoid the costly and time-consuming court process for all parties involved. Since arbitration can involve more than one arbiter – so long as it is an odd number to avoid a split decision – arbitrament has the benefit of an outcome being determined by more than one individual.
Unlike a mediation, once the hearing on arbitration has commenced, neither disputing party may unilaterally withdraw before an arbitrament is reached. To ensure fair arbitrage is reached, each disputing party should carefully consider how the arbiters will be selected. One way arbiters can be chosen is that each side agrees on one arbiter together. Another involves both parties nominating one arbiter respectfully, with a third chosen through a joint decision by the two nominated arbiters.
Real-World Example of Arbitrament
An arbitrament may determine how much money a business ends up paying its employees. One such example of this is the outcome of arbitration between a professional sports team's general manager and their players. Though most often kept quiet when disputing parties agree to privacy, arrangements are commonly a source of high-profile news in many professional sporting leagues.
Less than two days before the Washington Nationals had to meet Major League Baseball's deadline to finalize player salaries for the upcoming season, two of the team's most valuable players had yet to sign proposed long-term contracts. Yet because neither of the players had time to find a new team before the deadline, if they did not sign, then their salaries for the upcoming season would be determined by way of an arbitrament.
Being forced to bring in an arbiter and undergo the arbitration process until an arbitrament is reached is a situation watched keenly by many sports journalists and – as the Washington Post illustrates – not something a player would want to find themselves in the middle of. "Imagine waiting for a neutral arbiter to pick between the two amounts — nothing in between — and making a public decision so everyone, including your teammates, can see the goodwill fraying." So, while an arbitrament can be a powerful decision made at the end of a swift arbitration process by more than one knowledgeable arbiters, sometimes the attention that such processes can draw, however, may be unwarranted.