BOOK REVIEW: THE INTERNATIONAL COMPENDIUM OF CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS
REVIEWED BY KEVIN PASCOE
Edited by Phillip Greenham, University of Melbourne, Australia and the Society of Construction Law Australia, Sydney, Australia. Published by De Gruyter, May 2021. Pages: 1,370. ISBN: Hardback 978-3-11-071248-3, Electronic 978-3-11-071272-8. Price: £118.00, £129.95, US$149.99.
The fundamental objectives of the delivery of a construction project are the same for every project, in any location in the world – to manage the risks and complete the work on time, within the budget and to the required quality without dispute. These success factors all relate to the contract, the legal mechanism for delivery of a construction project.
Yet no single standard form of contract nor single set of construction law principles applies internationally. Although some standard forms of contract are in common use across jurisdictions (e.g. FIDIC), others are unique to particular countries or industries and are therefore not widely familiar to parties outside those national or industry boundaries. In today’s increasingly globalised economy, parties delivering construction projects find themselves with a requirement for familiarity with construction law and contracts across multiple jurisdictions.
The International Compendium of Construction Contracts aims to provide this familiarity. Edited and compiled by Phillip Greenham and the Society of Construction Law Australia, this reference book provides professionals and organisations embarking upon projects in 39 countries with an overview of each country’s construction industry, law, and commonly used forms of contract.
The Compendium is structured in a country-by-chapter format which makes it easy for readers to focus on the jurisdiction in which their interest lies. The authors of each chapter are well known in their respective jurisdictions – all being recognised experts in their field and actively involved in construction law. The more than 13 kindred Societies of Construction Law worldwide have been a notable source for identifying these authors.
For each country, the topics covered include a description of the legal system, key features of the construction industry, the legal principles upon which contract law is based, the impact of statute, an overview of the standard contract forms mostly in use, and a summary of the key issues arising in construction contracts. Dispute resolution is also raised, which is of particular note for countries where there is a statutory adjudication system. The Editors are to be commended on the homogeneous structure and style of each chapter. It is not an easy task to coordinate the input and writing of an internationally diverse group. The Editors note that whilst the authors of each chapter were asked to follow a standard template, given the different circumstances in each jurisdiction this was not always possible