What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a formal dispute resolution process whereby two or more parties agree to submit all or certain disputes between them to an independent person called an arbitrator, for a binding decision.

Arbitration is entered into by agreement and the process is governed by the Arbitration Act 1996 and the Arbitration Amendment Act 2007. An arbitrator’s decision, called an award, is binding on the parties and is enforceable as a judgment of the Court.

The objective of arbitration is to provide a flexible and efficient means of resolving disputes quickly, cost effectively, privately and confidentially without necessarily adhering to the formalised, technical procedures of litigation.

The process is presided over by an arbitrator selected by the parties, or by an agreed nominating body, because of his or her experience, skill and expertise as an arbitrator in matters closely related to the subject matter of the dispute.

Advantages of Arbitration

Whilst arbitration is closely related to litigation, there are several key differences which make it an important and attractive alternative to state litigation.

Arbitration gives the parties the power to choose their own decision maker, place and time of hearing, and as far as they can agree, to control the arbitration procedures which may be varied to suit the nature and complexity of the dispute.

The primary objective of domestic arbitration must be the fair, prompt and cost effective determination of any proceeding in a manner that is proportionate to the amounts in dispute and the complexity of the issues involved.

To find out more about our arbitration service or to arrange for one of our experienced construction arbitrators to assist with the resolution of a dispute, please contact Building Disputes Tribunal at

An Authorised Nominating Authority
under section 65 of the Construction Contracts Act 2002