Conciliation Clauses

One of the best ways to make sure that a conflict is resolved constructively is to include a conciliation clause in any contract you sign. These clauses are legally enforceable and require that any dispute related to the contract be resolved through biblically—based mediation or arbitration rather than through litigation.

pic-penUsing these clauses may help you to avoid the stress and expense of the secular legal system. They should not be used merely for that reason, however. Conciliation clauses should be used by those who are truly committed to biblical principles of peace, justice, and reconciliation, and who place a high priority on honoring God and preserving relationships even in the midst of conflict.

Conciliation clauses may be written in several ways, depending upon the preferences of the parties. The Institute for Christian Conciliation has developed and recommends the language in the following clauses. There is no copyright on the clauses, and you are free to use them at your discretion. Should you use a clause, you should provide the parties with a copy of the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation referenced in the clause. This language has been court-tested and should be modified only with the advice of legal counsel.

Conciliation Clause Option A

The parties to this agreement are Christians and believe that the Bible commands them to make every effort to live at peace and to resolve disputes with each other in private or within the Christian church (see Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 6:1-8). Therefore, the parties agree that any claim or dispute arising from or related to this agreement shall be settled by biblically-based mediation and, if necessary, legally binding arbitration in accordance with the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation of the Institute for Christian Conciliation (complete text of the Rules is available here. Judgment upon an arbitration decision may be entered in any court otherwise having jurisdiction. The parties understand that these methods shall be the sole remedy for any controversy or claim arising out of this agreement and expressly waive their right to file a lawsuit in any civil court against one another for such disputes, except to enforce an arbitration decision.

Conciliation Clause Option B

Any claim or dispute arising from or related to this agreement shall be settled by mediation and, if necessary, legally binding arbitration in accordance with the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation of the Institute for Christian Conciliation (complete text of the Rules is available here. Judgment upon an arbitration decision may be entered in any court otherwise having jurisdiction. The parties understand that these methods shall be the sole remedy for any controversy or claim arising out of this agreement and expressly waive their right to file a lawsuit in any civil court against one another for such disputes, except to enforce an arbitration decision.

Conciliation Clause Option C (as recommended by ACSI for Christian Schools)

The parties to this agreement are Christians and believe that the Bible commands them to make every effort to live at peace and to resolve disputes with each other in private or within the Christian community in conformity with the biblical injunctions of 1 Corinthians 6:1-8, Matthew 5:23-24, and Matthew 18:15-20. Therefore, the parties agree that any claim or dispute arising out of or related to this agreement or to any aspect of the employment relationship, including claims under federal, state, and local statutory or common law, the law of contract, and law of tort, shall be settled by biblically based mediation. If the resolution of the dispute and reconciliation do not result from mediation, the matter shall then be submitted to an independent and objective arbitrator for binding arbitration.

The parties agree for the arbitration process to be conducted in accordance with the Christian conciliation Rules of Procedure contained in the ICC booklet Guidelines for Christian Conciliation. Consistent with these rules, each party to the agreement shall agree to the selection of the arbitrator. The parties agree that if there is an impasse in the selection of the arbitrator, the Institute for Christian Conciliation (hereafter ICC), shall be asked to provide the name of a qualified person who will serve in that capacity. Consistent with the rules of procedure, the arbitrator shall issue a written opinion within a reasonable time.

The parties acknowledge that the resolving of conflicts requires time and financial resources. In an effort to fully encourage and implement a biblically faithful process, _______________ (name of school or organization) agrees to pay all fees and expenses, which may be required by the mediator, case administrator, and / or arbitrator, related to such proceeding. The issue of final responsibility for such costs will be an agreed issue for consideration or determination in the mediation or arbitration. The parties agree they will endeavor to exchange information with each other and present the same at any mediation, or, if to arbitration pursuant to the ICC Rules of Procedure, with the intent to minimize costs and delays to the parties. They will seek to cooperate with each other and may request the mediator, case administrator, and/or arbitrator to direct and guide the preparation process so as to reasonably limit the amount of fact-finding, investigation, and discovery by the parties to that which is reasonably necessary for the parties to understand each other’s issues and positions, and to prepare the matter for submission to the mediator and/or arbitrator to inform the mediator and / or arbitrator. In addition, the parties agree that in the event of an arbitration, they will use a single arbitrator who is experienced in the relevant area of law and familiar with biblical principles of resolving conflict.

The parties to this contract agree that these methods shall be the sole remedy for any controversy or claim arising out of the employment relationship or this agreement and expressly waive their right to file a lawsuit against each other in any civil court for such disputes, including any class action proceeding, except to enforce a legally binding arbitration decision. The parties acknowledge that by waiving their legal rights to file a lawsuit to resolve any dispute between them, they are not waiving their right to employ legal counsel at their own expense to assist them in any phase of the process.

Enforceability

Numerous courts have addressed whether contracts requiring mediation and/or arbitration pursuant to The Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation are enforceable. The courts have also addressed whether proceedings according to such Rules are valid and enforceable.‘Select’ to read the remainder of the article

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