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Arbitration

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - Arbitration Image The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators offers both Training and as well as appointing or nominating an Arbitrator(s) to act in dispute resolution.

1. What is it?

Arbitration is one of the oldest forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution and its use in Ireland has been traced back to the Brehon Laws. It is a process whereby parties agree to refer disputes between them for resolution to an independent third party known as the Arbitrator. The Arbitrator works to rules agreed between the parties or, if no such rules are agreed, as laid down by the Arbitration Acts. The Arbitrator is usually an expert in the subject matter of the dispute. A major advantage is that it is a confidential and private process.

2. How does the process work?

  • GeneralArbitration is similar to court litigation in that it usually involves pleadings and a full hearing based on the law of evidence applicable to Court proceedings.
  • AppointmentThe Arbitrator is either agreed by the parties or appointed by an Institution agreed by the parties for the purpose.The mechanism is usually set out in an arbitration clause in a commercial agreement.
  • ConfidentialityOne of the major advantages of arbitration is that it is a private process which the parties themselves and the arbitrator are obliged to keep confidential.
  • FlexibilityThe Arbitrator is usually readily available to the parties and accordingly preliminary issues and the hearing itself can be arranged without unnecessary delay.

3. Appropriateness of Arbitration to a dispute?

Arbitration is appropriate in almost all circumstances where litigation before the courts is considered appropriate. However, it is particularly appropriate where the parties believe that it is important that the party deciding upon their dispute (the Arbitrator) should have a detailed knowledge of the subject matter of the dispute. It is also particularly appropriate in circumstances where the parties would not want the media reporting upon the dispute.

4. Industry Suitability to Arbitration

Arbitration is suitable for the resolution of almost any commercial dispute. It is availed of extensively in relation to international commercial disputes and in respect of both domestic and international disputes arising in the construction and other industries.

5. Time and Cost

Arbitration tends to be somewhat quicker than court proceedings but a substantial arbitration is nonetheless likely to take approximately one year from beginning to end. This allows for full pleadings, disclosure of documents, witness statements, evidence etc. A simple arbitration, or one that is capable of being conducted on the basis of documents only, should be far more expeditious. Arbitration costs roughly the same as litigation before the Courts. There can be savings in some elements but they are offset by the fact that the parties have to pay for the arbitrator and the venue but not for the judge or the Court. An arbitrator has the same powers as a judge to award costs against an unsuccessful party.

6. Final & Binding

An arbitrators award is final and binding. There is no appeal against an arbitrators award. A party may however apply to set aside an arbitrators award in certain circumstances. This rarely occurs. If an application is made to set aside the arbitrators award, and that application is refused by the High Court, there is no appeal against that decision to the Supreme Court. SCHEMES: Arbitration Dispute Clauses are included in terms and conditions of contract within three schemes: 1.SIMI - Motor Industry 2.ITAA - Travel Industry 3.NRA-IFA - National Roads Aurthority and the Irish Farmers Association These schemes can be viewed under seperate tab on menu bar above.

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