This book is aimed primarily at students for whom the study of building or civil engineering contracts forms part of a construction-based course. We have had in mind the syllabus requirements for first degrees in Building, Civil Engineering, Architecture, Quantity Surveying and Building Surveying, as well as those of postgraduate courses in Construction Management and Project Management. We have also assumed that such students will already have been introduced to the general principles of English law, especially those relating to contract and tort. As a result, while aspects of those subjects that are of particular relevance to construction are dealt with here, the reader must look elsewhere for the general legal background. In producing this fifth edition, we have again been greatly assisted by the many helpful comments made by reviewers and users of previous editions. Nonetheless, our basic aim is identical to that which underpinned the first edition: to provide an explanation of the fundamental principles of construction contract law, rather than a clause-by-clause analysis of any particular standard-form contract. As a result, the book is based not just on one standard-form contract. We draw frequently upon particular standard-form contracts, such as JCT SBC 11, FIDIC 1999 Red Book, NEC3 and ICC 11 for our illustrations of particular points and to contrast different approaches to specific issues. The choice and range of contracts reflects the preeminent positions occupied by the forms currently in use, both in the UK and internationally. Indeed, by dealing with these contracts in the context of making general points about construction contract law, we hope that we generate insights for users in a wider range of countries than the UK. Finally, we repeat our previous warning as to the dangers inherent in a little learning. Neither this book, nor the courses for which it is intended, seek to produce construction lawyers. The objective is rather to enable those who are not lawyers to resolve simple construction disputes before they become litigious, and to recognize when matters require professional legal advice. We feel that every construction practitioner should understand the legal framework in which they operate. The extent of this understanding should be enough to enable them to instruct and brief specialist construction lawyers. We hope that this is also the aim of every construction student. Ultimately, our aspiration is that this book will help construction practitioners to understand the impact of contract law on their work in construction projects of all kinds, in diverse countries.
From The introduction of this book
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