Malta has a modern legal system allowing for several procedures to be employed in case of litigation. The judicial system is comprised of several courts dealing with various legal issues. Apart from the traditional judicial procedures, Malta also offers two modern dispute resolution alternatives: mediation and arbitration. These last two are also known as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods. Even if court litigation is still one of the strongest form of dispute settlement in civil matters in Malta, arbitration and mediation have started to become popular among companies involved in litigation cases. A particularity of dispute resolution in Malta are tribunals handling cases related to specific areas of the law, such as employment or financial litigation.
Even if they are both ADR methods, arbitration and mediation are quite different. Arbitration falls under the regulations of the Maltese Arbitration Act which gathers a series of regulations applicable at international level. Arbitration is used in commercial disputes as it is more flexible and cheaper. Arbitration proceedings imply the appointment of a third party, called an arbitrator, who, based on the evidence gathered from the litigant parties, gives an award.
Mediation, on the other hand, is more often employed in civil matters. Mediation in Malta is used as a dispute resolution method that helps parties to reach an agreement without issuing any rulings.
There has been no statements made my Maltese regulatory bodies or government agencies related to dispute resolution specifically in smart contracts.
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