PRIVATIZED JUSTICE AS RUDDERLESS – JUDGE-LESS JUSTICE
The existence and effects of arbitration agreements cannot now be disputed. Both the state and federal courts have unanimously affirmed the applicability of arbitration clauses, the enforceability of arbitration clauses to the extent to which the system favors sending matters to arbitration. There has been much written both scholarly and newsworthy articles about the implementation of the Federal Arbitration Act and the implementation of the general concept of arbitration as a method of privatized justice.
I would estimate that a majority of the opinions on arbitration clauses address the entire unfairness of the implementation. The question is something as follows; how can these big businesses use arbitration clauses and shield themselves from judges, juries and the impact of class actions?
The answer appears to be rather simplistic; because they can. The system has given these entities an out. There is a loophole. The corporations have taken advantage of specific holdings of the court to reduce their liability, reduce their exposure to lawsuits and class actions. One cannot fault a corporation or any business or entity or individual from taking advantage of this particular law. It applies to everybody across the board and is intended to reduce the burden on the courts. It is based on the underlying concept that individuals and entities are free to contract their rights away. It is a free country? Individuals are free to bargain away whatever rights they want? This is America. This is a free country.
So I guess, inherently, I do not have a tremendous issue with the existence and implementation of arbitration laws as they are there are used by businesses to avoid the civil justice system. The results might be good the results might be bad but I think we are asking the wrong question.
I would submit that we are asking the wrong question. The question should be what is the social cost of arbitration? If we truly look at the cost of arbitration, the cost of privatized justice in terms of the rule of law and a social contract between us it would be difficult to understand how anybody would think that arbitration is a good thing. Honestly, I think the implementation of a wide scale base privatized justice, and the obliteration of open court system results in anarchy. This is the job of Judge NOT a lawyer to make decisions. Judges are our saving grace. Continue reading ›