Enforcement Of Foreign Arbitral Awards In Ireland

Published date10 November 2020
Subject MatterLitigation, Mediation & Arbitration, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution
Law FirmDillon Eustace
AuthorMr John O'Riordan

Following the completion of the Brexit process on 31 December 2020, Ireland will be the only English speaking, common law jurisdiction in the European Union and we anticipate a consequential increase in parties looking to Ireland as a venue to resolve disputes and enforce judgments. Ireland will also undoubtedly became a more attractive jurisdiction for international arbitration.

With that in mind, this article provides a summary of the legal framework and process under which foreign arbitral awards may be enforced in Ireland.

Legal Framework in Ireland

All arbitrations in Ireland, both domestic and international, are governed by the Arbitration Act 2010 (the Act). The Act incorporates the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the Model Law).

As a signatory to the New York Convention, 1958, an arbitral award, irrespective of the country in which it was made (provided that country is a signatory of the New York Convention) must be recognised and enforced in Ireland unless one of the grounds set out in the Model Law exists. Those grounds are discussed in more detail below.

In addition, the Geneva Protocol on Arbitration Clauses 1923, the Geneva Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1927 and the Washington Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States 1965 continued to have force of law in Ireland as a result of the Act. It is also possible to enforce foreign arbitral awards in Ireland where no convention or treaty applies.

It should be noted that the Model Law itself does not outline the procedure for enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, which is left to each national body to determine.


The enforcement process for foreign arbitral awards in the Irish Courts is the same as for domestic awards and is provided for by Section 23 of the Act and Order 56 rule 3(1) of the Rules of the Superior Courts (Order 56).

Order 56 states as follows;

"..any application or request to the Court for any of the following orders or reliefs by any party to a reference under an arbitration agreement in relation to an arbitration, or by any person in relation to an intended arbitration, may be made by originating notice of motion;..(g) for the leave of the Court to enforce or to enter judgment in respect of an award pursuant to section 23(1) of the Arbitration Act 2010".

In terms of the proofs and documents required to be placed before the Irish Courts in seeking leave to enforce...

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