This was an application by the attorney general for the Falkland Islands (on behalf of the Islands' government) for the determination of a preliminary point of law in arbitration proceedings. Gordon Forbes and the government entered into a FIDIC fourth edition contract in 1997 to carry out some building works. A dispute arose that was referred to arbitration. Clause 53.4 of the FIDIC conditions required such claims to be verified by contemporary records. Gordon Forbes wanted to introduce witness statements into the arbitration covering those parts of the claim where no such contemporary records existed. The arbitrator refused an application by the attorney general inviting the arbitrator to rule on the meaning of "contemporary records", and also the extent to which witness statements could be used to cover the absence of such records.
The issue for determination was whether, on the true meaning of clause 53 of the FIDIC conditions, witness statements could be introduced into evidence to supplement contemporary records.