An independent person chosen by parties (or through a mechanism agreed by the parties) to settle their dispute by arbitration ( , rather than court proceedings. An arbitrator may decide the dispute on his or her own (sole arbitrator) or as part of a panel of (usually) three arbitrators. In the case of a three-person arbitral tribunal, most often each party nominates an arbitrator and the two party-appointed arbitrators choose a third arbitrator to chair the tribunal. Appointments can also be made by arbitral institutions or appointing authorities where a party fails to nominate or if the parties have so agreed..

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