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Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Queensland Building Tribunal

Wilson, Owen D., Skitmore, Martin, & Davies, P.A. (1998) Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Queensland Building Tribunal. In Fahlstedt, K. (Ed.) Symposium C: Legal and Procurement Practices - Right for the Environment, The International Council for Building Research Studies and Documentation (CIB) World Congress: Construction and the Environment,, 7-12 June 1998, Gavle, Sweden.

Abstract

In 1992, the Queensland Building Tribunal was established with the specific goal of obtaining quick, inexpensive and simple resolutions to building disputes by means of mediation and/or tribunal hearings instead of the more usual forms of arbitration or litigation. This paper describes research aimed at gauging the success of the Tribunal in achieving its goal. Two postal questionnaire surveys were carried out, one being for those who had resolved their disputes through the mediation process and the other for those who had taken the matter to the Tribunal's hearing process for a ruling by determination. Out of 168 questionnaires despatched, a total of 61 completed forms were returned and analysed. The results are described under four headings (1) fairness and impartiality, (2) formality and expediency, (3) credibility and public awareness, and (4) commercial reality. The majority of those surveyed thought the mediation process to be sufficiently impartial, expedient, informal and knowledgeable. In contrast, the hearing process, as expected, was perceived to be less expedient and more informal and intimidating. There are significant areas of concern over the absence of 'of right' legal representation and the reasons for settlement at the mediation stage. It is suggested that mediators receive some training or at least some guidelines are issued on the mediation process, that "duty lawyers" are made available for consultation with the parties, and that mediators may, with common consent, act as adjudicators when circumstances require.

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ID Code: 4528
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: Arbitration, dispute resolution, mediation, Queensland Building Tribunal, questionnaire survey
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > BUILDING (120200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > BUILDING (120200) > Building Construction Management and Project Planning (120201)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1998 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 19 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2011 04:21

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