Parties to a dispute may also accept arbitration after a conflict, or even after an appeal has been filed. The arbitration agreement is like a quota contract, which means that these agreements come into force or become applicable, depending on the execution of a dispute between the parties. It is enforceable only in the event of a dispute between the parties. An arbitration agreement includes an agreement between two or more parties to submit to arbitration: in arbitration proceedings, a trained, professional and neutral arbitrator acts as a judge who makes a decision to end your dispute. Arbitrators are often retired judges, but that does not mean that they follow traditional legal procedures accurately. Arbitration is in fact a highly flexible process, with the basic rules open to negotiation (to learn more about the differences between arbitration and mediation, do you also read the undecideds on your dispute resolution process? Combine mediation and arbitration with Med-Arb). Arbitration may be either voluntary or mandatory (while mandatory cases can only come from a law or contract imposed by one party to another, in which the parties agree to refer all existing or future disputes to arbitration without necessarily knowing what disputes will ever arise) and may be binding or non-binding. Non-binding arbitration is similar to mediation, as no decision can be imposed on the parties. However, the main difference is that a mediator will try to help the parties find a balance on which the compromises are made, but the (non-binding) arbitrator remains completely removed from the settlement process and will only give an assessment of liability and, if necessary, an indication of the amount of damages to be paid. According to one definition, arbitration is binding and non-binding arbitration is therefore not technically arbitral. The court was satisfied that all of these criteria were in place, which meant that the clause was an effective compromise clause. However, the court had to decide on the meaning of the phrase «both parties, by mutual agreement, to dismiss any dispute.» The defendant argued that this meant that the parties had already reached an agreement or «mutual consent» and had already decided, through the contract entered into by them, to refer «any dispute» that might arise between them for arbitration.