Faculty of Law

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)


This unit focuses on the avoidance, management and resolution of construction disputes, which is commonly referred to as the 'back end' of construction law. It begins with a critical analysis of the causes of construction disputes and the role that the construction contract and different project delivery methods play in construction disputes. Students explore various dispute avoidance processes (DAPs) that can prevent conflicts, which invariably arise during a construction project from escalating into disputes. Next, students examine the different 'real time' dispute resolution methods that can be used during the course of a construction project to assist parties to reach completion with no outstanding disputes. Finally, students explore the processes that are available for resolving disputes that remain outstanding post project completion, including ADR, arbitration and litigation. The focus is on the unique aspects of construction disputes that require specific responses including the use of Scott schedules and the hot-tubbing of experts.

Students will analyse construction dispute resolution processes in use in other jurisdictions, in order to evaluate whether the Australian systems are in need of reform. There will also be a critical examination of international arbitration to determine whether it represents world's best practice when it comes to construction dispute resolution.

Students will analyse traditional and alternative ways of resolving construction disputes and learn to research and write on construction dispute resolution issues.


A candidate who has successfully completed this unit should:
a.be able to identify the causes of construction disputes and the factors contributing to the escalation of construction conflicts into construction disputes;
b.be familiar with the different types of dispute avoidance processes (DAPs) used on construction projects around the world and the pros and cons of each;
c.understand the ways in which parties can engage in 'real time' resolution of construction disputes during the course of a project, and the legal ramifications of such processes;
d.recognise the broad range of ADR options available (mediation, expert determination, senior executive appraisal and early neutral evaluation) and the factors that influence the suitability of each for particular construction disputes;
e.be able to critically evaluate the use of arbitration for the resolution of construction disputes at both a domestic and international level;
f.have a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory regimes governing domestic and international arbitrations of construction disputes;
g.be able to assess the judicial systems in place in Australia and other countries for the determination of construction litigation and the need for reform; and
h.be able to undertake scholarly research and write clearly, concisely and logically on the avoidance, management and resolution of construction disputes.


Research paper (1,500 words): 30%

Final Exam (2 and a half hours plus 30 minutes for reading and noting): 70%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

4 hours a week over 9 weeks


LAW1101 Introduction to Legal Reasoning, LAW1101 Reading and Writing, LAW2101 Contract A, LAW2102 Contract B