Building a new adjudication scheme

Building a new adjudication scheme

Could Q-Construct, a new adjudication scheme for construction projects in Qatar, offer an alternative model for dealing with construction disputes? Christopher Grout, Registrar to the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre (QICDRC), explains the scheme and the potential benefits to construction firms.

What is the driving force behind the Q-Construct scheme?

The driving force behind the scheme is the sheer number of large scale construction projects that are being undertaken within the State of Qatar. Some of these projects relate to the stadiums and supporting infrastructure that are being built as a result of Qatar’s successful bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 but many more relate simply to the country’s natural growth and expansion, helped by the ambitious plans set out in the Qatar National Vision 2030.

How does the process operate?

In essence, Q-Construct is a fast track adjudication scheme which is intended to deal with disputes that arise within the context of construction projects. The procedure is designed to be simple and streamlined with cases being determined by specialist adjudicators who are registered with the QICDRC.

What form does the contractual adjudication process take?

The Q-Construct Adjudication Rules will lay down the procedure to be observed and the decisions the adjudicators reach will be contractually binding upon the parties, albeit that they may subsequently resort to arbitration or litigation.

What relationship does Q-Construct have with the established Qatar courts?

Q-Construct is intended to be an independent adjudication scheme but one which will be supported by the Qatar International Court with a specialist construction judge on hand to determine any ancillary applications that arise during the adjudication and which require judicial authority. It is anticipated the Qatar International Court will also have the jurisdiction to review, albeit within very limited circumstances, decisions made by adjudicators and will, where necessary, enforce the same.

What are the benefits of using Q-Construct as opposed to traditional dispute resolution channels?

The scheme has been designed specifically to deal with construction related disputes in a manner which is both fast and cost effective, allowing construction projects to continue with minimal delay. Adjudicators will be specialists in their respective fields and the whole scheme will be overseen by the judges who comprise the Qatar International Court. Furthermore, the binding nature of the adjudication decisions will mean that parties must comply with them even if they later choose to opt for further dispute resolution.

How has Q-Construct been received by companies?

The feedback that has been received during the development of the Q-Construct scheme has been overwhelmingly positive. The real test will come once the scheme is up and running as companies will have to determine whether or not they wish to opt into Q-Construct. Based upon feedback received to date, it is anticipated the uptake will be very high indeed.

How long will the fast-track scheme operate for?

Although the impetus behind the scheme relates to the ambitious plans surrounding the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the National Vision 2030, there is no reason to believe that the longevity of the scheme, if it is successful, could not continue well beyond these dates.

Where can companies receive further information on the scheme?

Further information on the scheme can be obtained by making a request to the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre, either by email (registrar@qicdrc.com.qa) or by telephone (+974 4496 8220).

Interviewed by Guy Skelton. The views expressed by our Legal Analysis interviewees are not necessarily those of the proprietor.

This article was first published on Lexis®PSL Dispute Resolution on 12 November 2013. Click here for a free 24 trial of Lexis®PSL.

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