High Court Rules out Challenge to Adjudication Determinations for Non Jurisdictional Errors

Gold Coast Construction Lawyers

What benefit does the recent decision of the High Court of Australia of Probuild Constructions (Aust) Pty Ltd v Shade Systems Pty Ltd have for subcontractors under the Security of Payment Legislation? Our partner Justin Mathews – an accredited specialist in commercial litigation and leader of our building and construction litigation team – explains.

The decision makes it clear that an adjudication determination cannot be challenged by a contractor for a non-jurisdictional error of law on the face of the record.  This significantly narrows the available grounds for challenge to adjudication determinations.  If an adjudicator incorrectly applies a contractual provision, mistakenly applies a legal principle or makes an incorrect finding of fact relating to the contract dispute in reaching a determination, the determination is no longer at risk of being set aside.

It is now accepted that the quick nature of the processes under the Legislation anticipates that such errors may be made by adjudicators.  The decision reinforces the underlying philosophy of the Security of Payment Legislation to provide subcontractors with a fast and inexpensive forum to compel payment from contractors for work done under a construction contract.

For enquiries and assistance with respect to the making of an adjudication application please contact Justin Mathews of our office on 07 5574 0111 or email justinm@qbmlaw.com.au.