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Construction Law (Third Edition) by Julian Bailey. Published by London Publishing Partnership (2020). 3 Volumes, Hardback. £125.00. ISBN: 978-1-9130-1903-7
The Third Edition of Construction Law was published earlier this year in three volumes. It is truly a monumental achievement by its author Julian Bailey to produce a work of such breadth and scope. The work proceeds primarily from the position that the law has currently reached in England and Wales (abbreviated, in the book, to England) and Australia. As the author describes in the preface to the First Edition, “the result of having taken the approach described above is that I have written a book that covers, in what is intended to be comprehensive breadth, construction law in England and Australia.” 1 In this respect it is “two books in one”. 2 The author is not content with dealing only with matters of substantive law which can be grouped together under the generic title of Construction Law , but also addresses matters of procedure and more generally the law of negligence insofar as it relates to construction. As a consequence one chapter is devoted to negligence 3 and there are further separate chapters dealing with dispute resolution, statutory adjudication, arbitration and litigation. 4 The scope of the work is not only limited to authorities from England and Australia, but includes consideration of the laws of Hong Kong and Singapore, although recognising that the decisions of judges in those jurisdictions are of persuasive authority only in Australia and England, and what are rather quaintly called “Exotica” – an expression that refers to the common law jurisdictions apart from those specifically mentioned. 5
This ambition in the scope of the work has at least two consequences: first, there is a need to address the law of England and Wales and the law of Australia where they diverge, and secondly, a need to address the areas of law, usually statutory, which are of limited relevance to other jurisdictions. The Chapter on Negligence is an example of the former where much of the discussion is taken up with identifying differences between the law of Australia and of England, whilst noting that the law in relation to the entitlement of a building owner to recover for economic loss in the tort of negligence is not entirely settled in either jurisdiction. An example of the latter consequence is the Chapter on Home Building Contracts 6 where much of the discussion is taken up with a consideration of the Australian law concerning residential building work in the different Australian states and territories which has no significant echo in other jurisdictions.
1 Preface to the First Edition, p lxvii.
2 Preface to the First Edition, p lxvii.
3 Chapter 10, Volume II.
4 Chapters 23 to 26 in Volume III.
5 Chapter 1, Volume I, paragraph 1.34.
6 Chapter 19, Volume III.
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