Macob Civil Engineering v Morrison Construction Limited
Macob applied to enforce an Adjudicator’s decision. Morrison contended that the decision was in breach of the rules of natural justice and served an arbitration notice. Morrison applied for a stay under s59 of the Arbitration Act 1996 on the basis that the dispute had to be determined by arbitration before the court could enforce the decision.
The Judge confirmed that the decision of an Adjudicator was enforceable summarily regardless of any procedural irregularity, error or breach of natural justice. The Judge adopted a purposive approach to the construction of the word “decision”, refusing to accept that the word should be qualified. As such, a decision whose validity was challenged was still a decision within the meaning of the Act. Therefore the decision was enforceable and binding until the challenge was finally determined. Further, the Court had power under Section 42 of the Arbitration Act 1966 to enforce the decision of the Adjudicator. As judgment was not requested, the Judge declared that the amounts were properly owing.