The International Application of FIDIC Contracts: A Practical Guide (First Edition) edited by Donald Charrett. Published by Informa Law from Routledge (2019). Paperback. Pages 442. £150.00. ISBN: 978-03-671-42971
The International Application of FIDIC Contracts: A Practical Guide edited by Dr Donald Charrett is a timely and extremely useful guide. It is the first book, which identifies, on a jurisdiction by jurisdiction basis, the issues to be addressed when amending the new rainbow suite of FIDIC contracts. In time, it will be an invaluable “go to” guide for the construction industry.
The Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils (FIDIC) and its rainbow suite of contracts will be well known to readers of this Journal. The FIDIC contracts are intended to be used in any legal jurisdiction whether common law, civil law or any other type of law.
Readers will also no doubt be aware that in 2017, FIDIC introduced a new rainbow suite covering the Red, Yellow and Silver books to replace the highly respected and well used FIDIC 1999 edition contracts. The 1999 FIDIC contracts, and in particular the Yellow Book, are the most widely used international construction contracts globally.
Relevantly for this review, two features of the 2017 editions stand out. First, the 2017 editions are far longer and provide a detailed prescriptive approach to how the contract should be managed. The intention behind the addition of this detail is to provide clear project management guidance.
The second feature of the 2017 editions is that they adopt what are known as the “Golden Principles”. By way of background, FIDIC has become increasingly concerned that although its contracts are widely known and widely adopted, they are also widely amended, and often amended in ways that undermine some FIDIC’s core values.
As a consequence, FIDIC developed the Golden Principles to encapsulate the essence of a FIDIC contract. There are five Golden Principles and they are as follows:
Golden Principle 1: The duties, rights, obligations, roles and responsibilities of all the contract participants must be generally as implied in the General Conditions, and appropriate to the requirements of the project.
Golden Principle 2: The Particular Conditions must be drafted clearly and unambiguously.
Golden Principle 3: The Particular Conditions must not change the balance of risk/reward allocation provided for in the General Conditions.
Golden Principle 4: All time periods specified in the contract for contract participants to perform their obligations must be of reasonable duration.
Golden Principle 5: Unless there is a conflict with the governing law of the contract, all formal disputes must be referred to a Dispute Avoidance/Adjudication Board (or a Dispute Adjudication Board, if applicable) for a provisionally binding decision as a condition precedent to arbitration.
Pt 1] Book Review
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