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What is Construction Law?

I don't think there is a universally accepted definition for what "construction law" is, but in the UK at any rate there is a body of law which is generally referred to as "construction law". It comprises those aspects of law which are closely related to the obligations which participants in the construction process owe one another. Hence the law of contract is included, as is the law relating to non-contractual obligations (e.g. tort and restitution). Often included too is both the analysis of existing construction arrangements (e.g. who is legally to blame for that catastrophe!!!) and the practice of how best to forge those arrangements in the first place (i.e. procurement). Moreover, whether fairly or not, the construction process has been considered one where disputes are rife, and hence the law and procedure surrounding the complete range of dispute resolution techniques has come to be encompassed within "construction law" too.

It is primarily this conception of construction law which this course adopts as its lodestone. Further, the course is currently directed squarely at the law of England and Wales. There may be occasional references out to some other common law jurisdictions (notably Australia and to some extent the US), but the law of jurisdictions based upon some iteration or other of the Justinian Civil Code (e.g. most of the rest of Europe and many of the Middle Eastern states) will not be touched at all, though of course, some of the standard form contracts which we refer to (FIDIC etc) are commonly used in such jurisdictions.

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