How a new model law can provide oven-ready adjudication

Tony bingham 2017 bw web

Tony Bingham salutes the new ISAF model law on statutory adjudication, which is designed to be adopted by any country

A really good idea invariably begins life as a half-witted, daft idea worthy of the rubbish bin. The lead-up to the birth of statutory adjudication in May 1998 got all of these labels, and more. It even prompted a 200-page book called A Plea for Sanity. The seven or so authors were all high-flyers; gurus in the world of dispute resolution. All were busy, respected arbitrators. None wanted this brat called adjudication anywhere near their in-tray, or yours. And, to this day, I don’t know how it came to be that in May 1998 the brat was born, becoming law for every commercial building contract in the land. Now, 25 years on, it’s the only game in town and I am looking at a document by the International Statutory Adjudication Forum (ISAF) called The ISAF Model Law on Statutory Adjudication.

ISAF is new. A meeting of top lawyers in Singapore in September produced the founder members. They hail from Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and the UK. ISAF is a ready-made document for any country to put before its legislature in an oven-ready state for adoption. Mind you, it could be adopted as the dispute machinery for any individual construction contract, bridge, road, wharf or new town today. It’s ready to go. Ideal for World Bank work.

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