Exploring the adjudication process

In South Africa the adjudication process has not been legislated, however each of the standard form contracts prescribed by the Construction Industry Development Board (“CIDB”) contain an adjudication procedure as a dispute resolution mechanism.

Adjudication is a dispute resolution process in which an independent third party (“the Adjudicator”) makes a judgement on a dispute that is binding but not final on the Parties. This means that the Parties are to give effect to the Adjudicator’s decision until such time as it is overturned by a tribunal which is usually arbitration.

“Adjudication procedures can be very effective if used correctly,” says legal consultant Cameron Staude.

More professionals are turning to the adjudication process in particular to resolve minor disputes as it is a quick and relatively inexpensive procedure that is designed to decide disputes in ‘real time’ and give you a resolution that can be implemented almost immediately, which then means that you can get your project back on track.

According to Staude there has been a noticeable increase in adjudications as employers become more contractual and contractors and subcontractors enforce their rights in terms of their contracts. A greater awareness of this process has also led to a rise in adjudications.

This means that they are placing more pressure on stakeholders to adhere to the terms of the contract.

“ Gone are the days where disagreements and disputes could be resolved over a handshake,” says Staude.

In South Africa “we rely on our standard form contracts to guide us on how the adjudication provision runs,” says Staude. The CIDB is currently trying to make adjudication compulsory in all construction contracts however this regulation is taking some time to pass.

For more insights join Cameron Staude at the multi-cpd accredited Construction Contract Law course run by Alusani Skills & Training Network®. For upcoming course dates, please visit the website www.alusani.co.za , email faith@alusani.co.za or call 0114477470.