Certificate Programme

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The Faculty of Law of Istanbul Bilgi University and Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd. are organising a yearly Certificate Course for construction professionals, legal practitioners and of course students. The course is generally an intensive six-day, 24-hour immersion in practical and legal issues relating to international construction projects, including dispute resolution.

Currently the theme of the course is "International Construction Contracts and Dispute Resolution – The Example of the FIDIC Conditions of Contract". (For the past programme please click). The nature of large-scale, international construction projects has resulted in international construction contracts having particular features that differentiate them from other commercial contracts. Standard forms of contract such as those issued by FIDIC have developed which reflect best practices in the construction industry. Along with these forms of contract, the construction industry has favoured special methods of resolving the disputes arising out of a construction project.

This six-day course is divided into three main parts. The first part of the course explores the nuts and bolts of international construction contracts. It begins by looking at the various entities involved in an international construction project and how a typical construction project progresses from start to finish. The course will also briefly look at selected ways of structuring construction contracts, as well as certain issues showing how the law governing the contract can have implications on a construction project. The first part of the course then looks at standard form international construction contracts and examines the most widely used standard form – the FIDIC Conditions of Contract.

The second part of the course provides an overview of the dispute resolution methods adapted to international construction contracts. In particular, this part of the course begins by examining the procedure for resolving disputes under the FIDIC Conditions of Contract as well as the final determination of disputes by ICC arbitration. This part of the course aims to provide background that is necessary for the understanding of the dispute-resolution side to the third part of the course.

The third and longest part of the course will cover a set of selected issues that typically arise in international construction projects. For each selected issue, the course provides an overview of the main sub-issues involved, examines certain practical matters and describes how they are regulated in the FIDIC Conditions of Contract. Then, for each issue, the course describes how these matters are typically handled in arbitration. The selected issues are: time and delays; price, payment and variations; defects; and termination of the contract.

The last day of the course includes role-play in relation to a mock case that is made available among the course materials at the outset. Participants will be divided into groups: two groups "advocate" the positions of the parties, whilst another group "arbitrates". This enables all participants to test their acquisition of the course fundamentals and concludes the course on an extremely lively note.