By Dr Samer Skaik

Recently, the WA Parliament finally enacted new security of payment laws adopting many recommendations of Murray and Fiocco reports. The new WA Act introduced, among other things, the adjudication review mechanism which I have been advocating for in my research for years. I am extremely delighted that my research has finally achieved such a significant impact whereas WA became the first Australian jurisdiction to make such a brave move.https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=8263858878640518625

Since 2014, my research has been focused on improving the security of payment laws in the Australian building and construction sector. My research established, among other things, a framework for introducing adjudication review mechanism into the security of payment legislation which was a key finding of my PhD study. To communicate my research findings with the decision-makers, I actively engaged with many governmental agencies and professional bodies and my relevant research was published in more than 20 refereed papers in journals, books and conferences in addition to multiple governmental submissions. My work was cited and thoroughly analysed in two significant legislative reviews on a national & state level and triggered a national debate (e.g. Review of Security of Payment Laws: Building Trust and Harmony by John Murray and the Final Report to the Minister for Commerce: Security of Payment Reform in the WA Building and Construction Industry by John Fiocco).

My framework for adjudication review was eventually endorsed by the Commonwealth Government for implementation across Australia. Accordingly, Western Australia became the first state to formally introduce adjudication review via its new security of payment laws (Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2021). It is anticipated that the adjudication review mechanism will provide many contractors with an alternative convenient remedy to appeal erroneous adjudication determinations away from the court system. This will help control the overall cost and improve the quality, finality and informality of statutory adjudication.

The full story of how my research has achieved such impact together with my views about the introduced review mechanism was published in my very recent paper entitled “Security of payment reforms in Western Australia: a critique of the introduced adjudication review mechanism”. The paper was published in Construction Law Journal Const. L.J. 2020, 36(8), 607-631.

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