In the court system judges are government employees. They are under-resourced and the system is slow and expensive.
Private judges may be hired jointly by the parties. Often they are senior solicitors or barristers and some are retired judges. The parties then discharge the “judges” fee and the process can be economical compared with the court system.
Adjudication is the process in which the “judge” has and exercises authority, hearing the respective positions put forward by the parties in dispute and making a decision which will be binding on the parties if they choose family arbitration.
Alternatively, a private judge could be asked to conduct a private Family Dispute Resolution hearing (FDR) where the judge gives an early neutral evaluation (ENE) – an indication as to the likely outcome if the case proceeds to trial.
Arbitration and ENE/private FDRs are suitable for both finance and children disputes. The process is increasingly popular as couples recognise the benefits of choosing their own tribunal and dealing with their case away from the court environment, making it less stressful for both parties.