What have the Romans ever done for us? comes from Monty Python’s Life of Brian and was the inspiration for this post:
“All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”
As I learnt from reading Akenhead J’s judgment in Savoye v Spicers, the Romans also gave us the words “construction” (the origin being the Latin verb “construere”, which broadly means “putting together”) and “structure” (the origin being the Latin verb “struere”, which apparently means something that has been placed, built, arranged or prepared).
Why, I hear you ask, would Akenhead J be considering such terms? Well, Savoye v Spicers is an adjudication enforcement case that turned on the question of whether a contract for the installation of an industrial conveyor belt system in a factory was a “construction contract” for the purposes of section 104 of the Construction Act 1996. It all turned on the meaning of “construction operations” (in section 105).
Let me explain. Continue reading