Expert Determination

What is Expert Determination?

Expert Determination is a simple means of binding dispute resolution. Unlike arbitration, Expert Determination is not governed by legislation. Expert Determination is a consensual process by which parties to a contract agree to refer matters in dispute to an independent person to decide.

The independent person has expertise relevant to the matters in dispute between the parties and is engaged to decide the disputed matters as an expert and not as an arbitrator.

The process is controlled by the parties themselves, who agree beforehand whether or not they will be bound by the decisions of the Expert.

For example, by party agreement, a determination may have effect as a recommendation to the parties or may be a binding decision skin to a judgment or adjudicator's determination. Further, because the Expert's authority is drawn from the agreement appointing him or her, the parties can be very specific about what they want the Expert to do ... or not to do.

Advantages of Expert Determination

Expert Determination has become a popular method of resolving disputes in a number of industries  involving qualitative or quantitative issues, or issues that are of a specific technical nature or specialised kind, because it is generally quick, inexpensive, informal and confidential.

The principle attraction of Expert Determination is that it can provide a binding determination without involving many of the formalities that can beset arbitration and litigation. It also has the advantage of assisting in preserving business relationships where strictly adversarial proceedings may not.

Our Rules and Guidelines

The Building Disputes Tribunal has developed highly sophisticated and proven Rules and Guidelines that provide an effective contractual process by which Expert Determination is conducted. This efficiency translates into a dispute resolution process that provides a legally binding determination to resolve disputes which minimise time loss, cost, stress and disruption for parties.

The Building Disputes Tribunal recognises that often, parties to a dispute simply require someone to provide an independent and impartial opinion on a matter. In these situations, The Building Disputes Tribunal can provide you with someone who is properly qualified to determine these matters via its expert determination service.

To find out more about our expert determination service or chat to one of our experts, please contact The Building Disputes Tribunal on (09) 486 7143 or at


If you wish to apply to have your Building Dispute resolved by Expert Determination click here to go to our online application form

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