I am acting as an adjudicator and one of the parties is challenging my jurisdiction. I know I need to enquire into my jurisdiction. What do I need to consider?

Some of the questions you should be asking are:

  1. Is there an agreement to refer disputes to adjudication?
  2. Has the adjudicator been properly appointed in terms of such agreement?
  3. Has a dispute arisen which is capable of being referred to adjudication?
  4. Are the parties to the dispute the same as those that entered into the contract?
  5. Has the dispute been previously decided?

Regardless of whether there is a challenge to the adjudicator’s jurisdiction, there should always be an enquiry into jurisdiction

Where a challenge has been made the adjudicator should investigate such challenge and satisfy themselves as to the validity or otherwise of such challenge. If the challenge has merit then the adjudicator should refuse to proceed with the adjudication unless and until he or she has jurisdiction. If the challenge is without merit, then the adjudicator should notify the disputing parties of his or her view and proceed with the adjudication.

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