• John Lowry

The High Court of Australia brings more certainty to adjudicators' decisions


Adjudicator’s jurisdiction On 14 February, The High Court of Australia published two decisions that will have the effect of giving more certainty to adjudicators’ decisions under security of payments legislation in Australia.


The Court decided that The Supreme Court of NSW could not review or overrule an adjudicators decision on the grounds of an error of law that is not a jurisdictional error.

In doing so, the High Court looked at the intent of the legislation and recognised two key elements of security of payment legislation, the first being the speed of the adjudication process designed to maintain cash flow in the industry and secondly, the interim nature of adjudication that allows parties to later pursue their claims through the contractual dispute resolution procedures or through the courts if they so desire.

A jurisdictional error occurs when an adjudicator accepts an adjudication application where the conditions for the application are not met. The reasons for this can be that the form of the payment claim is not correct, the payment claim or application are of time, or, in Queensland, if the claimant does not hold the proper licences.

Queensland adjudicators are required under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIPA) to look at jurisdiction in each application and decide on whether they have jurisdiction to proceed with an adjudication decision.

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AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBengaliBosnianBulgarianCatalanCebuanoChichewaChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEsperantoEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekGujaratiHaitian CreoleHausaHebrewHindiHmongHungarianIcelandicIgboIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseJavaneseKannadaKazakhKhmerKoreanLaoLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalagasyMalayMalayalamMalteseMaoriMarathiMongolianMyanmar (Burmese)NepaliNorwegianPersianPolishPortuguesePunjabiRomanianRussianSerbianSesothoSinhalaSlovakSlovenianSomaliSpanishSundaneseSwahiliSwedishTajikTamilTeluguThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduUzbekVietnameseWelshYiddishYorubaZulu

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