Arbitration as a means of settling disputes has been practiced in Ireland since the Brehan Law System. The first Arbitration Act in Ireland was in 1698. It continued in existence for 256 years until the next Arbitration Act in 1954. Since then, there have been three other Arbitration Acts, The 1980 Act, The 1998 Act and The Arbitration Act 2010. The 2010 Act repealed the three previous Acts.
The 2010 Act adopts into Irish law the UNCITRAL Model Law in relation to International Commercial Arbitration . This is an agreed legislation which is adopted in over 60 states to provide greater consistency regarding the laws of international trade
What is Arbitration?
It is the submission of a dispute between two or more parties to be decided by a Private Judge, referred to as the Arbitrator. The decision of the Arbitrator is Final and conclusive and enforceable at Law.
For an Arbitration to be subject to the Arbitration Acts of 2010 there must be a written agreement (which includes Electronic Agreements). The Agreement can be included in a Contract or if no Contract an Agreement, after a dispute has arisen.
Set out below is an example of an Arbitration Agreement. However, care must be taken to ensure that it is correctly tailored for the needs of the parties subject to a dispute.
"Any Dispute or Difference of any kind whatsoever which arises or occurs between the parties in relation to any thing or matter arising under, out of or in connection with the agreement shall be referred to Arbitration. The Arbitrator to be agreed by the Parties or in the fault of agreement the Arbitrator to be nominated by the President for the time being, of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators- Irish Branch. The Arbitration to be conducted under the rules of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - Irish Branch".
The decision of an Arbitrator is final and his decision can be converted into a Judgement through a simple High Court Procedure.
There is no Appeal of his decision except in exceptional circumstances which are rare. The High Court is generally the Court responsible for supervision of the Arbitration process. The policy to date by Courts is not to interfere with the decisions of an Arbitrator except in rare circumstances and the 2010 Act reduces the involvement of the Court.
How does Arbitration Work?
- Contract Agreement Containing an Arbitration Clause
- Referred To Arbitration
- Appointment of Arbitrator
- Preliminary Meeting with the Arbitrator and the parties to agree procedure.
- Hearing or Written Submission of Documentation
- Arbitrator issues Award.
The Costs of the Arbitration and the parties cost can be decided by the Arbitrator or may be agreed by the parties in advance.
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