The losing party before an arbitration tribunal cannot challenge the decision of the tribunal based on an alleged failure to deal with the evidence properly unless in exceptional cases the tribunal genuinely overlooked evidence that really mattered, or got the wrong end of the stick in misunderstanding really important evidence.

The arbitrator’s role is to assess and evaluate the evidence and a court will not play a role in this regard.

Even if the arbitrator’s findings do not refer specifically to a piece of evidence it does not mean that the arbitrator did not consider the facts. Factual findings are almost impossible to challenge.

In addition, a tribunal’s reasoning cannot be challenged merely because it is manifestly illogical or cannot be rationally sustained unless there was a failure to address an issue entirely.

The courts in all jurisdictions, including South Africa, are not sympathetic to parties who agree to arbitrate and then look for a second chance by challenging the arbitrator’s findings in court.

[UMS & Others v Great Station & Others]