Chern on Dispute Boards
The development of public and social infrastructure projects services such as dams, electrical generation facilities, roads, harbours, hospitals and schools are increasing as a result of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). This is due to the high costs of such projects in the construction phase as well as in the later operational phases, which may span several decades. Due to their size, complexity, and the varied interests of the parties involved, disputes inevitably arise during the course of PPPs and private sector infrastructure development projects. FIDIC, for example, in its Gold Book (Conditions of Contract for Design, Build and Operate Projects) provides for dispute boards to assist the parties over the long span of such endeavours. However, unlike traditional public infrastructure projects, PPP projects have to date not generally specified the use of contemporary dispute resolution methods, such as facilitative mediation, dispute boards, conciliation, and the like. This has often resulted in enormous unplanned costs and delays when disputes arise, and unnecessary damage to reputations and relationships—this, in a sector that can ill afford any of these consequences.1
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