ADJUDICATION WITH THE SPANNER IN THE GEARBOX
CIPAA Adjudication is no longer a dispensation of ‘rough-justice’ in a ‘fast-and-furious’ way. The true intention of CIPAA to expedite dispute-resolution as to enable contractor’s its life-source, which is payment, is off-tangent, into a ‘mini-trial’ or ‘mini-arbitration’, where counsels can actually test its evidence and arguments before going for a ‘final-resolution’, without giving ample ‘arsenals’ for the adjudicator to work on its own ‘competenze-competenze’; for a fee, far below of that of arbitration or the counsel’s own retainer, especially when ‘hearing’ is accorded.
CIPAA was once known to be of 88%-success rate for the Claimant, usually contractor, not until the first ‘spanner was thrown into the gearbox’, that Respondent has the right to raise defence at any point in time during the progress of CIPAA. Claimant has 5-days to put in its Reply, taking advantage of this, the tactical- maneuvering of an ambush with documents in the Response, during prolonged ‘holiday-seasons’, left very little time for Claimant to Reply. Does the matter stop at Reply? The answer is ‘no’… for most adjudicator may find that the entire Response is dedicated to a ‘single-objective’, to ‘remove’ the adjudicator for the lack of jurisdiction to preside over the adjudication. Thus, request for further submission i.e. rejoinder, sur-rejoinder, rebuttal and sur-rebuttal are requested. Will a rational adjudicator obliged to allow such, fearing ‘lack of natural justice’ disposition? Usually the adjudicator will give-in, eating into his 45-days to serve its Decision.
The story doesn’t ends there yet. There were attempt by counsel, usually Respondent, to seek for Hearing and Written-Submission. Such call was turned down by the HC, keeping faithfully to the spirit of CIPAA, which is dispensation of ‘rough-justice’ in a ‘fast-and-furious’ way. Having said that, some Respondent will put in ‘Expert-Report’ as evidence, some by the cartons of A4-boxes, mirrored such as in arbitration or litigation, holding faithfully to View-Esteem’s ruling, in Response, Rejoinder and maybe Rebuttal. Should the adjudicator allowed for hearing to review these ‘Expert-Report’ evidence? That is like walking tip-toe at the tight-rope, requiring a fine-balancing act, fearing a breach of natural-justice.
Alas, the Appeal-Court has then, opens a flood-gate, rendering breach of natural-justice if the adjudicator does not allow Hearing and Written-Submission, on the basis of insufficient time. The second spanner was thrown into the gearbox, swinging the pendulum to the Respondent, as with Hearing and Written-Submission, the chances voiding the entire CIPAA processes are very high. There is yet, procedural aspect of Hearing and Written-Submission in a conduct of adjudication available in the adjudicator’s tool-boxes, especially so when the notion of competenze-competenze is absent. The stroke of genius on tactical-maneuvering for a ‘weak-case’ is vested upon the conduct of Hearing and Written-Submission, to prolong the processes and along the way, to nail the adjudicator for prejudice.
Will the story ends here? Not likely. By this time, after serving the Claim, the adjudicator will more likely to call for a preliminary meeting, set the agenda for exchange of documents, fixing hearing dates and those procedural-rules that is common in arbitration, in place for adjudication which is a lacuna for a moment, for AIAC to pluck out the spanner from the gearbox. Wonder, is there additional adjudicator fee for hearing and such?
 View Esteem Sdn Bhd v Bina Puri Holdings Bhd  1 LNS 1378:
 MRCB Builders Sdn Bhd v. Wazam Ventures Sdn Bhd & Another Case  1 LNS 145
 GuangXi Dev & Cap Sdn Bhd vSycal Bhd  MLJU 1542
DYA+C is set up by Ar. DAVID YEK TAK WAI to undertake resolution of commercial disputes through ARBITRATION and ADJUDICATION, specializing in CONSTRUCTION PAYMENT DISPUTES.
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