What is ARBITER?

A person chosen to decide a controversy; an arbitrator, referee. A person bound to decide according to the rules of law and equity, as distinguished from an arbitrator, who may proceed wholly at his own discretion, so that it be according to the judgment of a sound man. Cowell. According to Mr. Abbott, the distinction is as follows: “Arbitrator” is a technical name of a person selected with reference to an established system for friendly determination of controversies. which, though not judicial, is yet regulated by law ; so that the powers and duties of the arbitrator, when once lie is chosen, are prescribed by law, and his doings may be judicially revised if he has exceeded his authority. “Arbiter” is an untechnical designation of a person to whom a controversy is referred, irrespective of any law to govern the decision; and is the proper word to signify a referee of a question outside of or above municipal law. But it is elsewhere said that the distinction between arbiters and arbitrators is not observed in modern law. Russ. Arb. 112. In the Roman law. A judge Invested with a discretionary power. A person ap pointed by the pra;tor to examine and decide that class of causes or actions termed “bonce fidei,” and who had the power of judging according to the principles of equity, {ex wquo ct bono;) distinguished from the judex, (q. v.,) who was bound to decide according to strict law. Inst. 4, 6, 30, 31.

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