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ADJUDICATION.

To adjudicate means to decide the outcome of a dispute between other people. Hence arbitrators, judges, tribunal panels and ombudsmen are all adjudicators. However, the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 introduced a specific form of adjudication, for the settlement of disputes between commercial parties to construction contracts. Adjudication has now started to become a term of art.

Adjudication is a quick and inexpensive method of dispute resolution resulting in an immediately enforceable, non-binding dispute settlement, by a third person, known as the Adjudicator. The Adjudicator is likely to be an expert first and foremost but may also be a qualified lawyer. Most construction adjudicators are qualified builders such as architects, civil engineers and quantity surveyors. This helps the process because the adjudicator will not need to hear or read large quantities of expert evidence to help him understand how the industry operates. This keeps time down to a minimum and avoids much unnecessary expense.

The time scale for adjudication depends either on the 28 day statutory provision in the Housing Grants Act 1996, or on an agreed time frame in an adjudication clause incorporated into a contract. Voluntary adjudication clauses can be inserted into any contract and are not limited to the construction industry. The only difference is that instead of being governed by the statute the adjudication is governed by the contractual provisions and the rules of the ADR provider. Adjudication proceedings may be conducted with or without a hearing.


 
     
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