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Sun Sand Dunes Limited v. Raiya Construction Limited

(2018) JELR 94831 (CA)

Court of Appeal  •  Civil Appeal 26 of 2017  •  24 May 2018  •  Kenya

Alnashir Ramazanali Magan Visram, Martha Karambu Koome, Wanjiru Karanja



1. The appeal before us principally revolves around the interpretation of a construction contract between Sun Sand Dunes Limited (the appellant), as the employer and Raiya Construction Limited (the respondent), as the contractor. Like any other contract, the applicable law to building contracts is the general law of contract. In that regard, Lord Reid in Modern Engineering (Bristol) Ltd. v. Gilbert-Ash (Northern) Ltd [1974] AC 689 aptly stated:-

“When parties enter into a detailed building contract there are, however, no overriding rules or principles covering their contractual relationship beyond those which generally apply to the construction of contract.”

2. The object of construction of terms of a contract is to ascertain its meaning or in other words, the common intention of the parties thereto. Such construction must be objective, that is, the question is not what one or the other parties meant or understood by the words used. Rather, what a reasonable person …

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