Arbitration is an alternative to litigation in the courts and is commonly used to determine complex commercial disputes. The process in arbitration is that an independent third party (Arbitrator) is appointed to resolve a dispute instead of a court. Arbitrators must apply the relevant law but the rules of admissibility are significantly relaxed.
Arbitration can be used by parties pursuant to a specific provision in a contract or it may be Court mandated. It is also open to both parties to a dispute to agree to engage in arbitration. The obvious advantage of arbitration is that the parties will know that their dispute is being handled by a specialist in the area concerned. The judgement of an Arbitrator is called an award, and is usually binding. In Ireland an award may only be challenged on limited procedural grounds where a party questions the procedure or manner as to how an award was made as opposed to the award or decision itself.
Arbitration can be a very cost and time effective alternative to litigating via the Courts System.