The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Produced in association with 4 Pump Court
If an adjudicator breaches the rules of natural justice during the adjudication then the decision may be a nullity if the breach is serious.
There are three well-known facets to the principle of natural justice:
no one should be a judge in their own cause
a party should be informed of the allegations against it and be given an opportunity to answer those allegations
a party is entitled to have its case heard by an unbiased and impartial tribunal
In practice, a dispute concerning the first of these three facets of natural justice type is extremely unlikely to arise in a construction adjudication. If there were any sign that an adjudicator had to decide on the propriety of their own conduct, the adjudicator would most likely resign. For information on an adjudicator's resignation, see Practice Note: Resignation by the adjudicator.
The courts have given guidance as to what is required for a breach of natural justice on a number of occasions. The key Court of Appeal cases are Carillion Construction v Devonport Royal Dockyard and Amec v Whitefriars. In these cases, the Court of Appeal made a number of general observations as to the nature of the adjudication process and the limited scope for challenging an adjudication decision on the grounds of a breach of natural justice:
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