The last year or two has seen changes in arbitration rules and procedures, caused in no small part by the COVID-19 pandemic. There are new LCIA, DIFC-LCIA and ICC arbitration rules. The Seoul Protocol on Video Conferencing in International Arbitration is being regularly used and the Africa Arbitration Academy Protocol on Virtual Hearings has been issued. There have also been revisions to the IBA Rules on Taking Evidence in International Arbitration. This short update looks at the key take-aways from these changes.
What relief does FIDIC provide when bank accounts are frozen as a result of war, hostilities, rebellion, terrorism etc.? Maybe not as much as you think. Tensions in Africa and the Middle East have seen the implementation of numerous international financial sanctions. While these sanction regimes vary in execution and enforcement they often freeze assets and prevent financial transactions. These restrictions may impact on the Employer’s performance of its payment obligations under the Contract. This can have serious consequences where the Contractor is entitled to suspend or terminate on notice for non-payment. Many parties automatically assume that financial sanctions will be recognised as force majeure. However, this may not be the case.
FIDIC is arguably the most widely used standard form of international construction contract but reported FIDIC cases are rare. Is it time for an increased publication of FIDIC cases? There are three categories of decisions arising out of FIDIC dispute resolution provisions: 1. Decisions of the Engineer or the Dispute Adjudication Board (DAB), which will generally not be published or reported to anyone other than the parties involved in the dispute. 2. Decisions of arbitral tribunals, which are not usually made public although this is subject to certain exceptions. 3. Decisions of national courts, which are a relatively rare occurrence for the reasons discussed below.
On 27 May 2015, the 160-page reserved judgement of the Singapore Court of Appeal (“CA”) was handed down in Persero 2 - PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (Persero) TBK (“PGN”) v CRW Joint Operation (“CRW”). It will be regarded a triumph for contractors wishing to enforce DAB decisions. The CA ruled that the interim award issued by the arbitral tribunal ordering enforcement of the DAB’s decision should stand. Using the concept of an “inherent premise”, the CA made two important findings: 1) it was not necessary for the Contractor to refer the failure to pay (the secondary dispute) back to the DAB; and 2) it was not necessary for him to refer the merits (the primary dispute) in the same single arbitration as his application to enforce.
Is not uncommon to find that an employer attempts to pass almost all risk in a contract to the contractor. However, such an approach may have unforeseen consequences when events later make completion of the works impossible. Here Andrew Tweeddale considers how and when a contractor might be released from further performance.
There is a substantial difference between the payment provisions of the FIDIC 1999 Red and Yellow Books compared with the Silver Book. This article explores how a court in Queensland (Australia) has dealt with the Silver Book’s provision. Contractors have good cause to be wary.