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November - Online
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This subject will explore construction project risk in an expansive and holistic way, offering students the opportunity to understand the political and commercial drivers that not only inform the allocation of risk but, also, influence the culture of the construction industry more generally. As many recent studies have highlighted, it is these cultural issues which are at the heart of many of the ills faced by construction procurement; this subject provides a uniquely valuable opportunity to diagnose those ills and to consider ways of addressing them.
Students will study what construction and project risks are, as well as (often overlooked) behavioural and documentation risks. Students will develop an understanding of the various approaches – philosophical, theoretical and commercial – for measuring and allocating risks between the parties involved in a construction project.
The subject encourages students to contemplate reform in the way that the construction industry approaches risk by interrogating whether current construction law, construction contracts and habits and behaviours are adequate and appropriate for the efficient and cost-effective management of risks.
The subject lecturers have combined experience spanning decades in the legal aspects of construction procurement, having between them held leadership positions within law firms, in-house counsel roles, been agents for change within construction-related societies and undertaken cutting-edge research into myriad aspects of construction law, including previously neglected but crucial ‘human’ factors including diversity and mental health.
Topics covered include:
- What is ‘risk’?
- Philosophy of risk allocation
- Stakeholder views of risk (private sector principal’s, government’s, economists’, contractors’, consultants’, financiers’ etc)
- Collaborative risk management
- ‘Megaproject’ risk (including public private partnerships)
- The insurance interface
- Emerging risks (eg pandemics, climate change, trade wars)
- Industry behaviour and culture
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have a demonstrated, advanced understanding of construction and project risks and the way in which their occurrence, allocation, avoidance, mitigation, and management informs the way in which construction law is practised and the construction industry operates;
- Be familiar with and capable of critically analysing the philosophy and theory of risk allocation and the way in which such philosophy and theory is applied in the Australian construction industry;
- Be able to confidently analyse the effectiveness and efficiency (or lack) of risk management approaches and make recommendations as to reform;
- Have an appreciation of how a deeper understanding of risk and the management of risk can drive positive evolution within the construction industry.
Last updated: 22 June 2021