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Examining the approaches to diminish judicial intervention in statutory adjudication in Australia

conference contribution
posted on 2016-01-01, 00:00 authored by Samer Skaik, J Coggins, Anthony MillsAnthony Mills
In Australia, statutory construction adjudication is a fast payment dispute resolution process designed to keep the cash flowing down the hierarchical contractual chain in construction projects. Its rapid, highly regulatory and temporarily binding nature have led to it being often described as a ‘quick and dirty’ process that delivers ‘rough and ready’ justice. Adjudicators often have to grapple with complex legal issues related to jurisdictional facts and interpretation of contract provisions, though the majority of them are not legally trained. This has often led to a poor quality of adjudication outcome for large and complex payment claims which has, in turn, led to a mounting dissatisfaction due to the many judicial challenges to adjudicators’ determinations seen in recent years. The evolving tension between the object of the security of payment legislation and excessive involvement of the courts has often been the subject of comment by the judiciary. This paper aims to examine the legislative and judicial approaches to support the object of the security of payment legislation to ease cash flow. The paper adopts a desktop study approach whereby evidence is gathered from three primary sources – judicial decisions, academic publications and governmental reports. The paper concludes that there is a need to adopt other measures which can provide more convenient relief to aggrieved parties to an adjudication process, such that the adjudication process is kept away from the courts as far as is possible. Specifically, it is proposed that a well-designed expanded legislative review scheme of allegedly flawed adjudication, based on that provided in the Western Australian legislation, might stand as a promising remedy to eliminate the evolving tension.



Australasian Universities Building Education Association. Annual Conference (40th : 2016 : Cairns, Queensland)


660 - 670


Central Queensland University


Cairns, Queensland

Place of publication

Rockhampton, Qld.

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E Conference publication; E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2016, The Authors


N Singhaputtangkul

Title of proceedings

AUBEA 2016 : Proceedings of the 40th Australasian Universities Building Education Association Annual Conference

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