||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 39 (Jul)
|| EWHC 1315 (TCC)
||Technology and Construction Court
Judge Richard Seymour QC
||Peter Coulson QC (instructed by Hammond Suddards Edge) for the claimant.
||Geoffrey Hawker (instructed by Blake Lapthorn) for the defendant.
||3 July 2002
Declaration - Discretion to grant - Declaration regarding reference to arbitration - Circumstances in which appropriate to grant declaration.
Although any question between parties as to the validity of a reference to arbitration should in the first instance, at least, be determined by the arbitral tribunal, the importance of the issues raised on the instant application for a declaration that the notice of referral to arbitration was invalid made it appropriate for the court to entertain the application. On the true construction of the settlement of dispute clauses in an ICE standard form of contract, the decision of an engineer was a condition precedent to the entitlement of a party to a contract that incorporated the ICE conditions to refer a dispute to arbitration, even where the purpose of the arbitration was to challenge the validity of an adjudication under the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996.
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