The Society of Construction Law Australia’s 2015 National Conference will be happening quite soon, on 23rd and 24th October in Melbourne. The theme is “Shifting gears”, and I will be in overdrive moderating the high-speed Saturday morning session “You are the Adjudicator!” I particularly hope that this session will go well, not least because it was my idea. A note about it appears below.
The SoCLA annual conference is always good, and if you are a construction lawyer and have not yet signed up to attend, now would be a good time. There is an excellent program, and you can register here.
This year, SoCLA will be doing something even more fun than usual at the annual conference, at a session called “You are the Adjudicator!” to be moderated by Robert Fenwick Elliott.
We all know that adjudications can sometimes be a bit hit and miss, the result dependent on the individual whim of the adjudicator. We are going to take that factor entirely out of the equation by inviting all of the delegates to adjudicate our four scenarios.
Each of the four scenarios is built around a current hot topic in adjudication jurisprudence, and a select band of hand-picked volunteers will have just 6 minutes to persuade you, the delegates, of the case for his or her party. Adjudication is always rapid; these ones will be an exceptionally fast and furious ride.
Tired of all that tedious work drafting reasons for your determinations? There will be no need for any of that here. The adjudications will all be determined on a pendulum basis, along the lines of an American Baseball Arbitration. Each advocate will offer a proposed draft determination, your job as delegate adjudicators is simply to vote for whichever of the drafts is closest to the result you favour, without amendment.
The hot topics covered by the four scenarios will be:
Use of adjudication by parties who have ceased to trade; recent revisiting of Young CJ in Eq’s dicta on this topic
The availability of set-off as a defence to a payment claim
Knowingly false claims; when does “fraud unravel everything”, as Lord Denning once said?
Interaction of adjudication with fast track arbitral awards; is an adjudicator entitled to open up an arbitral award?
We live in a world in which the old indulgence of allowing as much time as the advocates want to make their cases is steadily being replaced by much faster, real-time legal solutions. This session will explore the limits of ultra-fast processes; shaking up the old timetables like playing 20-20 cricket to crowds more used to the traditional 5 day test match.
It will also be an introduction to the pendulum system, which is now starting to make its presence felt in the Australian construction law world – there will be a brief update on that.
The program is thus: Program_-_09Sep15