Making a jurisdictional challenge in an adjudication
Produced in partnership with 4 Pump Court

The following Construction practice note produced in partnership with 4 Pump Court provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Making a jurisdictional challenge in an adjudication
  • Does a challenge have to be made?
  • Making a challenge and participating in the adjudication
  • Challenges incapable of waiver?
  • Approbation and reprobation
  • Elections made during an adjudication
  • Elections made after an adjudication
  • Dealing with a challenge to jurisdiction during an adjudication
  • Court assistance with a jurisdictional challenge before or during an adjudication
  • Can I force the adjudication to stop?

Making a jurisdictional challenge in an adjudication

This Practice Note looks at raising objections to the jurisdiction of an adjudicator, including whether a party needs to make a challenge, how an effective reservation of rights should be made, the scope and consequences of approbation and reprobation (asserting that an adjudicator's decision is valid for certain purposes while also challenging the validity of the decision), and practical considerations for dealing with challenges.

The availability of recourse from the court is also discussed, ie an application for a declaration to determine an adjudicator’s jurisdiction or for an injunction restraining the commencement or continuation of an adjudication.

For information on the various grounds upon which a jurisdictional challenge might be made, see Practice Note: Grounds for a jurisdictional challenge in an adjudication.

Does a challenge have to be made?

A decision made by an adjudicator without jurisdiction is a nullity. Strictly speaking, parties do not need to challenge the decision on the grounds that the adjudicator lacked jurisdiction—they can ignore the decision and simply allow the other side to attempt to enforce it (if so advised). At the enforcement hearing, they can then submit to the court that there is in fact no decision to be enforced. Similarly, a party who says (correctly) at the outset of the adjudication that the adjudicator lacks jurisdiction to conduct the adjudication can simply refrain from taking any

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