Arbitration is the resolution of a dispute through the binding decision of a third party, the Arbitrator. Arbitration is similar to litigation in that the parties present their cases to the Arbitrator and the Arbitrator decides on the evidence and submissions so presented. The Arbitration is conducted in private under procedures drafted specifically for construction and engineering disputes.
Conciliation is one of the ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ methods to litigation or arbitration. In Conciliation a neutral third party, the Conciliator, attempts to resolve the dispute by mutual agreement of the parties rather than by a binding decision as in Arbitration. Should the parties fail to reach a mutual agreement under the Conciliation facilitation, the Conciliator will issue a Recommendation of how the dispute should be settled by the parties.
If neither party rejects the recommendation within a specified period of time it becomes binding on the parties. There are established procedures for conducting Conciliations involving construction and engineering related disputes.
Mediation is another ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ method to litigation or arbitration. In Mediation a neutral third party, the Mediator, attempts to resolve the dispute by mutual agreement of the parties under the Mediator’s facilitation. As in Conciliation, there are established procedures for conducting Mediations involving construction and engineering related disputes.
The Construction Contracts Act 2013 introduces Adjudication into the Irish Construction Industry which enables a party to a construction contract to refer a dispute relating to payment to an adjudicator. The decision of the adjudicator, which must be given within either 28 or 42 days of the process commencing, is binding on the parties until either an arbitrator or a court decides otherwise.