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CCDD003 International Construction - Contracts and Arbitration

  • Run: optional module
  • Rating: 45 credits
  • Assessment:
    13 assignments – 10% each (some of the 8 assignments have parts, each of which being marked as if a separate assignment, thus making 13).  There is no examination.  
  • Module convenor: Professor His Honour Humphrey LLoyd, Q.C., M.A. ,LL.B, LL.D. (Hon)

Module aims:

  1. To examine the nature of international construction contracts. These contracts are typical of many complex long-term commercial contracts. To understand how disputes arise and their nature.
  2. To look at how disputes under them are resolved, principally by international arbitration, but also by Contractual Dispute Mechanisms such as Dispute Review Boards.

Module outline:

International Construction Contracts are a major part of international commerce. Disputes about them, and about transactions related to them, account for about 25% of all commercial arbitrations. The module is thus about subjects  of practical importance. (Since English law and practice is very influential in the formation and interpretation of international construction contracts, there will be references to some decisions of English courts but knowledge of English law is not required, although knowledge of the law of contract under a legal system will be needed.)

Learning outcomes:

  • Knowledge: The purposes of this module are, first, to provide an introduction to International Construction Contracts, a typical example of complex international commercial contracts and the kinds of dispute that arise under them and, second, to examine how such disputes are resolved in practice internationally. However practical problems and issues can only be satisfactorily understood and resolved with a good understanding of principle so the module has a solid academic base. The principles learned from a studying international commercial arbitration will be applied. There will also be an introduction to private international law (conflict of laws) as it applies to such contracts and dispute resolution.
  • Skills: Both construction contracts and the facts that generate disputes are complex so good analytical skills are required. Each assignment will require student to select, read and assimilate the materials that are issued (and sometimes to conduct further research) and then to demonstrate their understanding of them by writing a short essay or the like or answering problems (or both). Assignments will be issued monthly and have to be returned within 4-5 weeks.  As already noted, knowledge of the law of contract will be needed but on this module “the contract is the law” so it will not be necessary to apply a particular law.
  • Attitudes:  Students will have the qualities found in professional practice, i.e. the ability to master and analyse the facts and the law and to produce a reasoned and balanced opinion. Past students have found the module rewarding, if at times quite demanding – just like professional life – but have thus sharpened their skills.  resolution.

Preliminary reading

(extensive materials will also be provided for each assignment)  

  • International Construction Arbitration Law by Jane Jenkins and Simon Stebbings.  Kluwer Law International, 452pp., 2006.  ISBN 980 411 2341 5.  (Copy of book will be provided.)
  • International Construction Arbitration Handbook, 2012 Edition by John W Hinchey and Troy L. Harris.  Thomson/West, USA.  2011.  ISBN 978-0-314-80180-7.  2 Volumes.  Softcover.  US$206.00 – but each vol. can be bought  separately at US$94.00 each.
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