Construction and engineering contracts fulfil at least two broad and overlapping purposes. The first is to provide a framework for the supply of goods and services by one party to another, and for payment to be made for that supply. The second purpose is to provide a statement of the parties’ respective legal rights and obligations, so that if there is disagreement between them as to their rights and obligations they
may refer to the contract as a record of what was agreed, and who took responsibility for what. If, after having done that, the parties are still unable to agree on whatever matters there are in dispute, they may seek to have their dispute resolved by an independent person or body. The contract itself may make provision as to the procedure for resolving disputes. Even if it does not, the parties may avail themselves of dispute resolution processes that the law permits irrespective of any agreement of the parties, the foremost of which is dispute resolution through the courts (ie, litigation).
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