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The Confluence of Civil and Common Law (and the Influence of the Shari’a) in Middle East Construction Arbitrations

Tim Taylor QC

ABSTRACT

This article explains how civil and commercial laws, based on European codes (but adapted in some respects to be Shari’a-compliant), have been adopted in most of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries outside Saudi Arabia. It also contains a practical comparative law primer on how to understand and reconcile Islamic, civil and common law approaches in construction arbitrations, highlighting six common features of Middle East laws that pose traps for unwary contractors and developers (decennial liability, joint ventures, multiparty contracts, damages, rescission and ‘imprévision’).