London-based Construction & Infrastructure Disputes partners James Doe and David Nitek have authored the chapter on ‘Construction Arbitration and Turnkey Projects’ in the second edition of Global Arbitration Review’s Guide to Construction Arbitration.
Launched last year, The Guide to Construction Arbitration is an in-depth review of construction disputes internationally – from preparing contracts and guarantees, to setting up dispute boards, organising arbitration proceedings, analysing documents and evidence, and navigating within particular industries and regions.
In the case of PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (Persero) TBK v CRW Joint Operation (Indonesia), the Singapore Court of Appeal (the Court) considered the issue of enforceability of interim awards. The background to the case is more fully explained in our blog post, but in short the Contractor (CRW) had referred a number of contractual variation claims against the Employer (PGN) to a dispute adjudication board (DAB), and sought to enforce the DAB’s decision to promptly pay the adjudicated sum by way of an arbitration. The majority of the arbitral tribunal issued an interim award which CRW sought to enforce in Singapore in the manner of a judgment.
The majority of the Court found that an interim award which disposed of a preliminary issue was enforceable, in contrast to a provisional award, which was issued only to protect a party from damage during the course of an arbitration (which award was not capable of being enforced). The Interim Award made a final decision on PGN’s obligation to pay promptly to CRW the sums indicated in the DAB’s decision.
The Court’s decision is helpful in looking beyond terminology to the characterization of the types of tribunal decision which are enforceable and those which, despite being couched in the nomenclature associated with enforceability, are not enforceable. There is also considerable guidance given on the interpretation of the dispute resolution provisions in the FIDIC form of contracts which is discussed in more detail in our Construction Ebulletin.