Επιτρέποντες : η ιδιωτική διαιτησία στον ΜένανδροPart of : Επετηρίς του Κέντρου Ερεύνης της Ιστορίας του Ελληνικού Δικαίου ; No.40, 2007, pages 29-53
Epitrepontes : Menander and private arbitration
The study refers to a scene of Menander’s comedy “Epitrepontes” where a private arbitration is registered. In fact, the comedy’s title itself refers to the verb “epitrepein” that depicts the consensus of the concerned parties on submitting their dispute to private arbitration.The law on private or voluntary arbitration is written in Demosthenes speech “Against Meidias”. Therefore, whoever had private differences had the right to bypass judicial order and resolve them by arbitration, selecting whomever they wanted as their arbitrator. The agreement of the concerned parties reminds an arbitration agreement. The opposing parties in such a “trial” could be citizens and foreigners, as well as some slaves, which had acquired the right to attend courts. Whoever did not have the capability to appear in court in person could not officially appear before the arbitrator.Arbitrators’ duties could be undertaken by any citizen or immigrant who had beforehand accepted his appointment as one. The arbitrator had to form unbiased his judgment on the case, to preserve the principle of equality of arms and particularly the principle of adversarial process. However he had very extended capacities with regard to the procedures.After the proving procedure, the arbitrator had to issue his decision which was binding and irrevocable for the opposing parties. It is likely, in fact, that the arbitrator could supervise the implementation of the decision, as Menander implies in “Epitrepontes”.