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This subject provides a broad overview of the range of dispute resolution options available to parties in relation to construction disputes, as well as detailed insights into the practical aspects and policy drivers of these options. It provides an opportunity to understand how to efficiently conduct construction dispute procedures in various Australian courts, arbitration (both domestic and international) and expert determination. It also engages with key industry debates about the rational reform of dispute processes in Australia and internationally. The lecturers bring extensive dispute resolution expertise to the subject and have been involved in many of Australia’s most significant construction-related disputes.
Principal topics include:
- Practice and procedure in the Supreme Courts of New South Wales and Victoria and the Federal Court of Australia, considering differences and assessing where best practice lies
- Evidence for construction cases—how to identify what is necessary for the principal claims that arise in construction cases (eg variations, delay, prolongation and latent conditions claims)
- Special issues relating to expert evidence and practical issues arising from the rules of evidence
- Pleading claims
- Problems with discovery and how they may be solved (this involves a review of the policy considerations that underlie the recent changes to the Federal Court Rules and the Victorian Supreme Court Rules, as well as practice in international arbitration)
- Managing the trial or hearing so that it is as efficient as possible
- The appeal process that is available
- The domestic arbitration legislative framework: how it can be used to improve the efficiency of dispute resolution
- Issues of proof in complex disputes, focusing on delay and disruption claims.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject should be able to:
- interpret and explain the legal, commercial and technical aspects which lead to disputes in construction projects
- analyse and assess options for dispute resolution mechanisms in a range of construction industry scenarios
- critically reflect on, and be confident in applying, means of resolving construction disputes
- investigate, examine and synthesise existing and emerging legal issues relating to dispute resolution in construction projects.
Last updated: 16 September 2023