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Detailed Practice Notes written by our Professional Support Lawyers, guiding you through the key issues in each topic.
Jurisdiction - Overview
The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 is referred to as the HGCRA.
Contracts subject to adjudication
Parties to a 'construction contract' have a mandatory right to adjudicate a dispute. The HGCRA defines a 'construction contract' very broadly and revolves around the definition of 'construction operations'. The definition has been widely considered by the courts.
For more detail see Contracts subject to adjudication.
Requirements for an 'agreement in writing'
Unless a construction contract is an 'agreement in writing' there is no right to adjudicate under the HGCRA. All terms of the contract must be in writing. Part 8 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 (the LDEDC Act) repeals this provision in full and applies to construction contracts entered into on and after 1 October 2011 .
For more detail see Requirements for an 'agreement in writing'.
Contracts excluded by the HGCRA
Some construction contracts are expressly excluded from the definition of 'construction operations' under the HGCRA. Other forms of contracts are also excluded, for example, those within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and contracts excluded by the Construction Contracts (England and Wales) Exclusion Order 1998, the Construction Contracts (England) Exclusion Order 2011 and the Construction Contracts (Wales) Exclusion Order 2011.
For more detail see Excluded contracts under the HGCRA (1) and Excluded contracts under the HGCRA (2).
Types of jurisdictional challenge
An adjudicator has to have jurisdiction to hear the adjudication to be able to deliver a valid decision. It is possible for a party to an adjudication to bring a jurisdictional challenge. There are 12 types of challenge although this list is not exhaustive. Examples of types of challenges are:
the contract is not a 'construction contract'
the requirements for a written contract have not been satisfied (so far as contracts entered into prior to 1 October 2011 are concerned)
the adjudicator was not validly appointed, or
the claim was brought against the wrong party
For more detail see:
Jurisdictional challenges–no contract, no valid appointment or the wrong party
Jurisdictional challenges–not a construction contract, excluded or not in writing
Jurisdictional challenges–not a dispute under the contract
Jurisdictional challenge–no dispute
Jurisdictional challenge–dispute not referred
Jurisdictional challenges–multiple disputes, previously adjudicated or out of time
Jurisdictional challenge–breach of natural justice
Jurisdictional challenge–severability of a decision
Making a jurisdictional challenge
When seeking to make a jurisdictional challenge it is important to be aware of the point at which you should make a challenge. If not made in time then it is likely that you will lose the ability to challenge the jurisdiction of the adjudicator at a later stage.
For more detail see Making a jurisdictional challenge
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