In Mayo County Council v Joe Reilly Plant Hire Limited  IEHC 544, the Irish High Court (McGovern J) considered whether an arbitrator was correct to hold that he had jurisdiction to commence the arbitration hearing and rule on his own jurisdiction in circumstances where the applicant contended that the dispute had been the subject of binding settlement. The Court concluded that where the existence of an arbitration clause is not in dispute, the Irish courts are reluctant to interfere with an arbitrator’s ruling on his own jurisdiction, having regard to the kompetenz-kompetenz principle (Article 16(1) of the UNCITRAL Model Law). Specifically, the court found that the issue of accord and satisfaction is not a proper basis for a challenge to the arbitrator’s jurisdiction under Article 16(3) of the Model Law rather it may constitute a defence to the claim made by the respondent in the arbitration.
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