Expedited commercial arbitration procedures

The Tribunal has developed a suite of expedited commercial arbitration procedures which have increased the efficiency and potency of arbitration as a modern dispute resolution procedure. These processes include:

  • Expedited commercial arbitration within 45 days (on the documents)
  • Expedited commercial arbitration within 60 days
  • Expedited commercial arbitration within 90 days

The procedures are intended to give parties the widest choice and the capacity to adopt fully administered procedures which are fair, prompt and cost effective and which provide a proportionate response to the amounts in dispute and the complexity of the issues involved.

In short, the processes introduce the dual concepts of ‘Purpose’ and ‘Overriding Objective’ and impose obligations on the arbitrator and the parties to participate in the arbitration at all times to give effect to these tenets which underpin the processes through a tri-partite agreement.

The Purpose of the Rules is to ensure that the arbitration is conducted fairly, promptly and cost effectively in a manner that is proportionate to the amounts in dispute and the complexity of the issues involved.

The Overriding Objective is to enable the Arbitrator to produce an award within a fixed number of working days, whether 45, 60 or 90.

To give effect to the stated Purpose and the Overriding Objective, the Rules impose on the parties an obligation to comply without delay and to be bound by the timetabling and procedural provisions in the Rules and any further direction or ruling of the arbitrator as to procedural or evidentiary matters.

The Arbitrator is obliged to conduct the arbitration in accordance with the stated Purpose and to adopt procedures and give directions and rulings as required to ensure the process for the determination of the matters in dispute is fair, prompt and cost effective.

The Rules confer on the arbitrator the widest discretion permitted by law to resolve the dispute in a just, speedy, and final manner in accordance with the stated Purpose, the Rules and natural justice and record that what might otherwise constitute natural justice in another setting may by necessity be tempered in order that the time limits fixed are met and the stated Purpose is achieved.

The Rules provide that the extent of reasons for the award of the Arbitrator shall be proportionate to the time available to the Arbitrator to make his or her award, the nature and number of matters at issue and the amount of money at issue in the dispute.

Significantly the Rules introduce the process of scrutiny of the award. Before signing any award, the Arbitrator must submit the award in draft form to the Tribunal. The Tribunal may make recommendations as to the form of the award directed to identifying any errors in computation or any clerical or typographical errors or any errors of a similar nature. The Tribunal may also draw the Arbitrator’s attention to any points of substance without affecting the Arbitrator’s independence and autonomy in rendering the award.

Consistent with the concepts of expeditious resolution of disputes by arbitration and the timely payment of monies under contracts, the Rules require the parties to carry out the award without delay and unless otherwise directed, that any amount awarded to be paid by one party to the other shall be paid within 10 working days of publication of the award, or any additional award made under Article 33(3).

To underpin that objective the Rules provide that within 3 working days after the date upon which the award is given to the parties:

(a) The Arbitrator may on his or her own initiative, or at the request of either party (with notice to the other party), correct in the award any errors in computation, any clerical or typographical errors, or any errors of a similar nature;

(b) A party, with notice to the other party, may request the Arbitrator to give an interpretation of a specific point or part of the award;

(c) A party, with notice to the other party may request the Arbitrator to make an additional award as to claims presented in the arbitral proceedings but omitted from the award.

If the Arbitrator considers the request to be justified, he or she shall make the correction or give the interpretation or make the additional award within 5 working days of receipt of the request.

The Rules are clear that no additional fees may be charged by the Arbitrator for interpretation or correction or completion of an additional award.

The Rules include a number of basic but practical provisions for the efficient management and disposition of the arbitration proceeding including requiring the parties to request the return of any documents provided to the arbitrator for the purpose of the arbitration within 3 months following the date of the award, or they will be destroyed.

Costs are fixed on a scale for arbitrations on the documents for claims of low complexity under $50,000.00.

The Tribunal’s Rules incorporate Guidelines for Expert Evidence to assist experts, parties and their advisers understand expert’s obligations and the Tribunal’s expectations in relation to the preparation of reports, joint conferences of experts and the hearing of concurrent evidence.

The Rules require adherence to the Tribunal’s expert Witness Code of Conduct.

About Us

With 20 years experience in the avoidance, management, and resolution of building and construction disputes, the Building Disputes Tribunal is recognised and respected as the leading independent, nationwide provider of specialist dispute resolution services to the building and construction industry.

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