The Legal Process dealing with Construction Disputes

Table Of Contents

Chapter Description Page
Executive summary vii
Principles viii
The different procedures viii
The role of the presiding officers ix
Conclusion ix

1 Why have a process to deal with construction disputes? 1

2 Understanding the process dealing with construction disputes 6

3 The role of standard form construction contracts 10
3.1 The Joint Building Contracts Committee – Principal Building Agreement 13
3.2 The Engineering and Construction Contract 14
3.3 The General Conditions of Contract for Construction Works 15
3.4 The Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils Conditions of Contract 16

4 What constitutes a dispute? 17
4.1 The difference between a claim and a dispute 17
4.2 Types of claims 19
4.3 How and when does a claim become a dispute? 23
4.4 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 27
4.4.1 The Joint Building Contracts Committee – Principal Building Agreement 27
4.4.2 The Engineering and Construction Contract 28
4.4.3 The General Conditions of Contract for Construction Works 30
4.4.4 The Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils Conditions of Contract 38

5 The structure of the dispute resolution process 42
5.1 The relationship between the role players involved in a dispute 42
5.2 Principles 45
5.3 The dispute resolution process for the various standard form construction contracts 54
5.3.1 The Joint Building Contracts Committee – Principal Building Agreement 56
5.3.2 The Engineering and Construction Contract 58
5.3.3 The General Conditions of Contract for Construction Works 60
5.3.4 The Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils Conditions of Contract 63
5.4 An example of the dispute resolution process: Hong Kong Airport 65
5.5 Intervention by the courts in the dispute resolution process 66
5.5.1 Review 66
5.5.2 Interdicts 69
5.5.3 Setting an arbitration award aside 70

6 Substantive law 72
6.1 What is substantive law? 72
6.2 Interpreting or construing legal documents 76
6.3 Implications of time-barring on the process 79
6.3.1 Principles 79
6.3.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 82

7 Rules of natural justice 86
7.1 Principles 86
7.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 93
7.2.1 The Joint Building Contracts Committee – Principal Building Agreement 93
7.2.2 The Engineering and Construction Contract 93
7.2.3 The General Conditions of Contract for Construction Works 94
7.2.4 The Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils Conditions of Contract 94

8 Procedural law and matters 96
8.1 Procedural law 96
8.2 The different systems to conduct proceedings 98
8.2.1 Principles 98
8.2.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 101
8.3 Types of hearings 104
8.3.1 Principles 104
8.3.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 106
8.4 Viva voce hearings 109
8.4.1 Witnesses 109
8.4.2 Structure of viva voce hearings 117
8.5 Default proceedings 120
8.5.1 Principles 120
8.5.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 122
8.6 Putting a person on terms 125
8.7 Representation of parties during the proceedings 127
8.7.1 Principles 127
8.7.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 128
8.8 The functus officio rule and the slip rule 131
8.8.1 Principles 131
8.8.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 132
8.9 Interim measures 135

9 Evidential aspects 139
9.1 Rules of evidence 139
9.1.1 Principles 139
9.1.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 145
9.2 Burden and measure of proof 148

10 Determining the extent of a dispute 152
10.1 Not a new case but new facts and arguments 152
10.1.1 Principles 152
10.1.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 154
10.2 Defining the dispute 155
10.2.1 Principles 155
10.2.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 158
10.3 Discovery of documents 163

11 Presiding officers 166
11.1 Appointment of a presiding officer 166
11.1.1 Principles 166
11.1.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 170
11.2 The authority and jurisdiction of a presiding officer 179
11.2.1 How should a presiding officer exercise his powers, duties and functions? 179
11.2.2 When may a presiding officer rely on his own expert knowledge and experience? 183
11.3 A presiding officer's fee and security 186
11.3.1 Principles 186
11.3.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 189

12 The different dispute resolution procedures 196
12.1 Amicable settlement 196
12.1.1 Principles 196
12.1.2 Structure of the proceedings 203
12.1.3 Approaches to amicable settlement 205
12.1.4 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 209
12.2 Adjudication 211
12.2.1 Principles 211
12.2.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 218
12.3 Arbitration 224
12.3.1 Principles 224
12.3.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 228
12.4 Court litigation 235
12.4.1 Principles 235
12.4.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 237
12.5 Expert determination 238

13 Determinations 242
13.1 Principles 242
13.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 244
13.2.1 The Joint Building Contracts Committee – Principal Building Agreement 244
13.2.2 The Engineering and Construction Contract 244
13.2.3 The General Conditions of Contract for Construction Works 245
13.2.4 The Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils Conditions of Contract 247

14 Awarding cost of proceedings 249
14.1 Principles 249
14.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 251
14.2.1 The Joint Building Contracts Committee – Principal Building Agreement 251
14.2.2 The Engineering and Construction Contract 253
14.2.3 The General Conditions of Contract for Construction Works 253
14.2.4 The Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils Conditions of Contract 255

15 Enforcing determinations 257
15.1 Legal principles to enforce contractual obligations 257
15.1.1 Summary judgements 258
15.1.2 Order for specific performance 258
15.2 An agreement due to amicable settlement techniques 259
15.3 An adjudicator's determination 259
15.3.1 Principles 259
15.3.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 263
15.4 An arbitrator's award 265
15.5 A court's orders 266

16 Dispute avoidance mechanisms 267
16.1 Principles 267
16.2 Early neutral evaluation and early warning system 268
16.2.1 Principles 268
16.2.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 271
16.3 Standing Dispute Review, Avoidance and Adjudication Board 273
16.3.1 Principles 273
16.3.2 Provisions of the standard form construction contracts 281