Important COVID-19 Update

x

These are certainly challenging times for us all.

We are committed to doing everything we can to prioritise the wellbeing of our people, those who use our services and their representatives and the communities we serve to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday, our people will begin working remotely from today, Monday 23 March.

Having well developed online dispute resolution options, it will in many ways be business as usual for us as we focus on providing a seamless service, regardless of where our Registry staff, adjudicators, arbitrators and mediators are working.

We know you are working through similar challenges to ours and that these are uncertain times for everyone. From all of us here we send our thoughts to you, your teams and families.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance to you and we will keep you informed with any further updates.

Under section 25 of the Act, any party to a construction contract is entitled to refer a dispute arising under that construction contract to adjudication except where the parties have agreed to refer disputes between them to arbitration and the arbitration is an international arbitration.  A ‘dispute’ is defined in section 5 of the Act as: a dispute or difference that arises under a construction contract. An example of a dispute is a disagreement between the parties to a construction contract about whether an amount is payable under the contract, or whether there has been a breach of the contract, including a breach of any term/warranty implied into every construction contract by the Building Act 2004, or any other enactment.

A party to a construction contract has the right to refer a dispute to adjudication whether or not that dispute is the subject of another dispute resolution procedure, for example, court, tribunal or arbitral proceedings, or mediation. Section 26 of the Act provides that nothing in the Act prevents the parties from submitting a dispute to another dispute resolution procedure whether or not the proceedings for the other dispute resolution procedure take place concurrently with an adjudication. In essence, this is just another way of saying that the decision of the adjudicator is provisional and will be binding on the parties until the dispute is finally determined by arbitration or by court proceedings, or resolved by agreement or mediation after the dispute is determined by the adjudicator.