Arran Dowling-Hussey

Some but not all adjudicators, party representatives and parties may be involved in adjudications both in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Those who primarily do U.K work of this type may find it helpful to note that the assigned adjudication judge in Dublin, Mr. Justice Garrett Simons, has recently cautioned that case law from England and Wales can be of assistance when interpreting the Irish legislation (2013 Construction Contracts Act which commenced as of July 25, 2016) but cannot be ‘read across.’ This approach no doubt recognises that whilst there are some broad general similarities in the UK and Irish legislation it does differ in a number of significant respects.

The Republic of Ireland Region of the Adjudication Society is preparing for the 2017/2018 professional year after the summer break.

The Ireland Region of the Adjudication Society recently held its 4th annual conference at Dublin’s well known Croke Park venue. 2017’s conference was organised around the theme ‘I’m in an adjudication, get me out of here.’

Statutory construction adjudication is now part of the Irish legal landscape following the commencement of the 2013 Construction Contracts Act at the end of July, which will now apply to all construction contracts (includes the appointment of construction professionals) entered into after 25 July 2016.

On April 13, 2016 Minister Ged Nash signed the Commencement Order for the Construction Contracts Act 2013. The legislation will take effect from July 25, 2016, some 6 years after then Senator Quinn first introduced his Private Members Bill and 3 years after the legislation was passed in its final form by the Irish Parliament. 

The Construction Contracts Act 2013 (the “CCA”) was passed as of the summer of 2013 but has not yet been commenced. At the time of writing this article, whilst the CCA has still to be brought into effect, substantial progress has been made.

The recruitment of the Panel of adjudicators in the Republic of Ireland, which has been referenced in this newsletter before, is presently ongoing. Dr Nael Bunni, a well known Irish arbitrator and a Door Tenant at 39 Essex Chambers in London, has already been announced as Chair of the Panel of Adjudicators. His three-year term runs from July 2015. The application deadline for those who wished to be considered for appointment to the Panel was in mid September and a number of stages of the competition have been concluded at this stage, including shortlisting and interviews of candidates, although the final appointment of adjudicators to the panel has not yet occurred and there is no clear timetable for the conclusion of this process.

The wait for the commencement of the Construction Contracts Act 2013 continues. As has been set out before in this newsletter, the legislation was introduced as a private member's Bill back in 2010. Some of the reasons for the delay to date have been set out previously, and do not need to be repeated here. Whilst concerns held by certain observers that the legislation would languish on the statute books and not become operational have receded, the belaboured manner in which progress has been made in seeing the Act go live is still causing considerable frustration.

Construction payments legislation introducing statutory adjudication was passed in the Republic of Ireland in July 2013. On the foot of this, and other, developments, the Republic of Ireland region of the Adjudication Society was established in January 2014.