Adjudication is a short process where the adjudicator must assess the dispute quickly and reach a short-term enforceable provisional decision. Adjudication may be defined as a process where a neutral third party gives a decision, which is binding on the parties in dispute unless or until revised in arbitration or litigation. This narrow interpretation may refer to the commercial use of an adjudicator to decide issues between parties to a contract. The use of an adjudicator is found in a variety of standard forms of contract used in the construction industry.
Until recently, adjudication in the construction industry has displayed certain characteristics. First, the adjudicator is a neutral individual who is not involved in the day to day running of the contract. He or she is neither an arbitrator, nor a State appointed Judge. Second, the adjudicator enjoys his or her powers by virtue of the agreement between the parties. In other words, the parties have agreed by contract that the decision of the adjudicator shall decide the matter for them. Third, the adjudicator’s decision is binding on the parties, and therefore, unlike mediation, the process does not require the co-operation of both parties. Fourth, adjudicators decisions are usually expressed as being binding until the end of the contract when either party may seek a review of the decision, most commonly by arbitration. Finally, adjudication is not arbitration and is therefore not subject to the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010.
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