Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Arbitrator Definition:

The adjudicating and presiding officer of a dispute submitted to arbitration.

Related Terms: Umpire, Arbitration, Arbitration Rules, Arbitration Clause, Arbitration Agreement, Arbitration Act

A third-party who resolves a dispute between others, by arbitration, the arbitrator's judgment on the dispute called an award.

A person or persons appointed to resolve a dispute between two parties by arbitration and pursuant to an arbitration agreement or an arbitration clause, to the exclusion of the courts.

For greater certainty, the term can be defined in local arbitration acts such as the Commercial Arbitration Act of British Columbia:

"Arbitrator means a person who, under this Act or an arbitration agreement, resolves a dispute that has been referred to the person, and includes an umpire."

Where there is no dispute, there is no arbitration and no arbitrator.

In Lewis, Justice Evans of the US Court of Appeals adopted these words:

"Arbitrators are judges chosen by the parties to decide the matters submitted to them, finally and without appeal."

Some international texts, such as UNCITRAL's Model law on International Commercial Arbitration, also use the term arbitral tribunal to refer to an arbitrator alone or as a group sitting as an arbitration panel.

French: arbitre and in Scotland, an arbiter.


  • Commercial Arbitration Act RSBC 1996, Chapter 55, §1
  • Lewis Mears Co. v Chicago Marcentile Exch.  1 F. (2d) 287 (1924)

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