The Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution continues its practice of devoting each issue of its International Arbitration Review to a topical theme that is of particular interest to the Arab world.The subject of the present issue is a perfect fit given that the construction industry is one of the most frequent users of arbitration both globally and in the Middle East.
The fourteen articles that follow were contributed by leading practitioners in the field, who address a wide range of legal and practical questions from diverse perspectives, all grounded in experience and delivered with fine judgment. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be able to publish such a rich and varied collection of insights into the particularities of construction arbitration in the region.
The subjects discussed pertain to both procedure and substance. They range from aspects of arbitration procedure of special relevance to construction disputes, such as case-presentation strategies and techniques, global claims, expert evidence and disclosure, to contractual issues such as rescission, damages, hardship and exceptional circumstances. These questions are examined against the background of local legislation and case law, the arbitration rules of institutions in the region and elsewhere, international instruments such as the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration and the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, and the FIDIC standard forms of contract upon which the construction sector so heavily relies. On a broader plane, attention is also given to other techniques that may be useful in resolving construction disputes and, particularly apposite in the present context, the impact of local culture on approaches to contract making and dispute resolution.
At a time when the Arab world is witnessing a great upsurge in construction projects combined with heightened exposure to sociopolitical and commercial risks, the questions discussed in this issue should be helpful to anyone navigating the difficulties and disputes that so often arise in such circumstances. The way forward in such a challenging environment should be founded on the twin pillars of business acumen and balanced risk taking. I am confident that the views expressed in this issue will help towards that end.
Nassib G. Ziadé