Civil Procedure & Courts in the South Pacific (South Pacific by Corrin-Care

By Corrin-Care

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As is usual, things have not worked out quite as expected and adjudications are commonly quite complicated. The result is that parties frequently turn to lawyers or consultants to handle matters for them and consequently the cost of referring a dispute to adjudication can be significant ± proportionately more so if the amount in dispute is small but the arguments complex. The position regarding the authority of the adjudicator to allocate the parties' costs varies according to which adjudication provisions are operative.

Operations which are defined as not being construction operations, would consequently not be a construction operation. However, notwithstanding the words where the primary activity is, the court has held that it is85. e. it was not a construction operation3. Likewise the assembly and installation of boiler plants on a site adjacent to an oil refinery were also excluded as the plants supplied steam to the refinery and therefore furthered the primary activity of the site74. Whether or not pipework itself is a construction operation depends on its function.

Since the introduction of statutory adjudication the courts, when asked, have tended to look upon non-statutory adjudication in much the same way69/86/90. But, as there are always exceptions129, if you have a dispute that you have been unable to resolve, it is important to establish whether your contract falls under the Act. This in itself may be a tricky exercise. 1 When did you enter contract? The Act does not apply to contracts entered into prior to 1 May 1998. It is normally a straightforward matter to decide the date of contract but complications can arise if there has been a letter of intent, an oral agreement to proceed or if there is no documentary evidence, etc.

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