School of Law

Postgraduate menu

QLLM052 International Construction Contracts and Arbitration

Module Description

International construction contracts have by their nature special features, which affect the methods of resolving disputes arising from them. The module, conducted through series of
seminars, is divided into two terms.

In the first term, the module will examine in detail the nature of international construction contracts which may be taken as typical of many complex long-term commercial contracts. It will look particularly at the processes by which they come into being - e.g. the procurement methods of the World Bank and those derived from European Directives on Public Works. The law applicable to construction contracts and to related arbitration agreements will also be discussed. The seminars will continue with an analysis of typical construction contracts, the parties to them (and in particular the role of the Engineer and the Contractor), their structure, and the types of disputes that arise under them. For this purpose reference will be made to typical forms of construction contracts eg the FIDIC Conditions.

In the second term the module will focus on the various dispute resolution methods, and especially arbitration, typically available in large construction contracts. In particular, the module will look into: how an arbitration concerning an international construction contract is constituted, points relating to the appointment of arbitrators, how preliminary objections and questions as to jurisdictions may be dealt with, how the proceedings are conducted, what an arbitral tribunal should do (and not do) and how the award should be expressed. Arbitration under various systems will be considered (eg UNCITRAL). The principal standard forms of contract have favoured the use of the Rules of Arbitration of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. Sessions will also be devoted to interim arbitration, alternative forms of dispute resolution and the important question of multi-party arbitration.

Throughout the module teaching will be centred on case studies and the absence of a text book will be made good by an extensive reading list and materials which will be supplied. In so far as the forms of contract owe their origins to English law some reference will be made to the English law of contracts.

Module Topics

  • Basic Principles of Construction law
  • Parties to Construction Contracts
  • Procurement Construction Contracts
  • Internationals Projects and FIDIC Contracts
  • FIDIC Red Book
  • FIDIC other Books
  • Claims under FIDIC by Employer
  • Claims under FIDIC by Contractor
  • FIDIC Dispute Resolution Mechanism
  • Applicable laws: seat of arbitration, governing and procedural law
  • Powers of the arbitral tribunal
  • Role of the Courts in assisting the arbitral process
  • Multiparty Arbitration
  • Treaty Arbitration
  • ADR Including mediation

Students should note: Coursework in the form of two short written assignments (one in each term) will be required from students. Also, three sessions of tutorials will be held during the year. Coursework and tutorials are designed to ensure that students develop a good understanding of the module and they are better prepared for the final exams.



Applicable Groupings

Mode of Assessment

3 hour written examination paper


45 Credits

Bookmark and Share
Return to top