Statutory adjudication was introduced into the security of payment (SOP) legislation as a fast-track payment dispute resolution process with an express object to facilitate cash flow within the construction contractual chain. After more than a decade of the operation of the regime in Australia and Singapore, it becomes apparent that there are many operational problems that jeopardise the intended object of the legislation, particularly in adjudicating complex payment disputes. The aim of this paper is to explore views of the industry stakeholders regarding some operational problems of statutory adjudication of as well as possible solutions.
“Expert interviews” method is adopted to collect the empirical data, involving interviews with 23 practitioners from Australia and Singapore.
The study identified many operational problems jeopardising the attainment of the object of the SOP legislation such as bias of authorised nominating authorities, short adjudication timeframes, inadequate regulations of adjudicators, jurisdictional challenges, involvement of courts and lawyers and complex drafting of the legislation. The study also analysed the views of industry experts with regard to the opportunities for improvement in the operation of the SOP legislation such as following the Queensland model as amended, and introducing a legislative review mechanism and establishing a peer review process. It also suggested specific amendments to make the legislation a more user-friendly.
The implication of this study is a better understanding of the most critical problems inherent in statutory adjudication that need serious consideration by the legislatures and policymakers. In addition, the study also provides some practical measures as suggested by the industry practitioners for each identified problem which may stand as a reliable reference for potential reform in the SOP laws.
There is inadequate empirical research conducted to investigate problems in the operation of statutory adjudication. The study provides original empirical findings which become much necessary nowadays in light of the dynamic moves towards law reform in SOP laws, particularly in Australia. The study provides some practical measures as suggested by the industry practitioners for each identified problem which may stand as a reliable reference for potential reform in the SOP laws.
Skaik, S. (2017), "Operational problems and solutions of statutory complex adjudication: stakeholders’ perspectives", International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 162-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLBE-03-2017-0009
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