Construction & Engineering - Horizon Scanner: Infrastructure, Construction, Energy, June 2024

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In Jephson & another v Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC [2024] IEHC 309, the Court lifted a stay on court proceedings based partly on the respondent's conduct in the arbitration.
Ireland Real Estate and Construction
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In Jephson & another v Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC [2024] IEHC 309, the Court lifted a stay on court proceedings based partly on the respondent's conduct in the arbitration.

In 2020 the Court had granted a stay on proceedings to allow the parties to participate in an arbitration. This was based on an agreed order in which the respondent's solicitor undertook to participate in the arbitration in a timely and efficient fashion. The order stated that the plaintiffs were entitled to apply to lift the stay in the event of non-compliance with that undertaking.

When the plaintiff applied for the stay on proceedings to be lifted, the respondent argued that the parties had to proceed by way of arbitration once a referral was made in accordance with Article 8 of the UNCITRAL Model Law (the means by which the court is obliged to refer a dispute to arbitration).

However, the Court noted that the parties had expressly agreed that the Court's inherent jurisdiction would be exercised to lift the stay in certain circumstances. Those circumstances had occurred. The Court was entitled to lift the stay and give effect to its own previous order, which itself had been the product of an agreement between the parties.


Regulation (EU) 2024/1252 establishing a framework for ensuring a secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials entered into force on 23 May 2024 (and a corrigendum has been published).

As we have mentioned previously, provisions include mechanisms for the identification and support of strategic projects that contribute to lowering dependencies and diversifying imports.

In Ireland, DECC has drawn attention to the Regulation, here, announcing that "projects that receive 'Strategic Project' designation will benefit from more streamlined and efficient permitting procedures, as well as facilitated access to finance avenues".


In Salek v Grassland Agro Ltd and another [2024] IEHC 302, the Court awarded damages to a plaintiff who suffered personal injuries when lifting heavy objects at work.

The defendants, contrary to Regulation 69 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007, failed in their duty as employers "to take appropriate organisational measures, or use the appropriate means, in particular mechanical equipment, to avoid the need for the manual handling of loads by..." the plaintiff who was their employee.

Contributory negligence was not established. The plaintiff was expected to get on with the task and there was little, if any, invitation to him to comment on organisational matters. There was no proper risk assessment, monitoring or supervision of the task.


Climate Action Plan 2024

The Government approved the annual update to the Climate Action Plan and Annex of Actions, available here. Sections relevant to construction include Built Environment, Industry and Public Sector Leading by Engagement.

The Plan notes that long-term decarbonisation of the built environment will require a decrease in emissions associated with production, construction and demolition, and that this will necessitate significant technological change to construction processes. It indicates that change will be driven by the Recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and revised Construction Products Regulation. It explores alternative construction materials and whole of life analysis in Chapter 13.

Public Construction Projects

Public bodies will receive new guidance relating to the design of projects and procurement of cement and concrete products. The intention is to achieve a consistent approach to reducing embedded carbon in construction. Further information is available here.

The Office of Government Procurement has added a sustainability and green public procurement area to its website to bring together resources relevant to construction.


The Climate Change Advisory Council called for an urgent increase in the use of timber in construction and use of modern methods of construction, as well as whole-life carbon assessments and targets in the planning process for public buildings. Further information is available here.

Transport Infrastructure in Buildings

The Department of Transport announced a grant to support installation of EV charging infrastructure in existing apartments.


The Registered Employment Agreement (Overhead Powerline Contractors Group) Order 2024 has been made to set out the agreed terms and conditions to apply to specified workers engaged by an Overhead Powerline Contractor.

This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.

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