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This Practice Note considers the availability and use of declarations under CPR 8 in relation to adjudication proceedings. It looks at the various stages at which a declaration may be sought—before an adjudication has been commenced, while one is on foot and after an adjudication decision has been given.
For general guidance on Part 8 claims, see Practice Note: CPR Part 8 claims (alternative procedure for claims).
In respect of adjudication proceedings, declarations under CPR Part 8 are generally sought in order to:
clarify matters before or during the adjudication—eg to determine a potential breach of natural justice or jurisdictional challenge, or
obtain final determination on a point, the effect of which is to trump the adjudication decision (see, for example, Leeds City Council v Waco)
The latter situation is far more common because it is not generally possible to prevent enforcement of an adjudication decision by alleging that it is wrong. A declaration can be a means of indirectly resisting the enforcement of the adjudication decision, as the decision is only binding unless and until the matter is finally resolved by the court. However, declarations are only granted by the courts sparingly and, if going down this route, it is essential for a party to ensure that it can meet the four-stage test considered under Guiding principles
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