Multiplex Constructions (UK) Ltd v West India Quay Development Company (Eastern) Ltd

The employer's challenge to the enforcement of the adjudicator's award of an extension of time that the adjudicator was in breach of the rules of natural justice by failing in his award to give reasons or adequate reasons for the extension of time he granted should be rejected
 
MULTIPLEX CONSTRUCTIONS (UK) LTD v WEST INDIA QUAY DEVELOPMENT COMPANY (EASTERN) LTD

Technology and Construction Court
Ramsey J
8 June 2006
 
Ramsey J rejected The employer's challenge to the enforcement of the adjudicator's award of an extension of time that the adjudicator was in breach of the rules of natural justice by failing in his award to give reasons or adequate reasons for the extension of time he granted.
 
The judge in rejecting the challenge first considered the judgment of Dyson LJ in Amec Capital Project v Whitefriars City Estates (2004). In his judgment Dyson LJ stated that the common law rules of natural justice or procedural fairness were that the person affected had the following two distinct rights, namely (1) to prior notice and an effective opportunity to make representations before a decision was made and (2) to an unbiased tribunal. Dyson LJ did not identify a failure to give reasons as being a breach of natural justice in the context of adjudication. Secondly the judge noted that paragraph 22 of the Scheme for Construction Contracts provided that the adjudicator was to provide reasons if requested by one of the parties which demonstrated he did not have a duty to give reasons in the absence of any other contractual provision or request. Thirdly the judge noted that Jackson J in Carillion Construction v Devonport Royal Dockyard (2005) stated in relation to the duty to give reasons in a planning context that the principles in these cases were of only limited relevance in the adjudication context insofar as (1) adjudicators' decisions did not finally determine the parties' rights (2) erroneous reasons given by an adjudicator did not generally enable the decision to be challenged (3) adjudicators were frequently not required to give reasons (4) if an adjudicator was requested to give reasons pursuant to paragraph 22 of the Scheme, a brief statement of those reasons would suffice on the basis that they should be sufficient to show that the adjudicator had dealt with the issues remitted to him and what his conclusions were on those issues and (5) it would only be in extreme circumstances that the court would decline to enforce an otherwise valid adjudicator's decision by reason of the inadequacy of the reasons given and the complainant would need to show that the reasons were absent or intelligible with the result that he had suffered substantial prejudice.
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