Construction Dispute Resolution

Subject LAWS70133 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

April, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

This subject provides both a broad overview of the range of dispute resolution options available to parties to construction disputes and also detailed insights into the practical aspects of, and policy drivers for, those options. It provides an opportunity to understand how to efficiently conduct construction dispute procedures in various Australian courts, arbitration (both domestic and international), expert determination and security of payment adjudication. It also engages with key industry debates about the rational reform of dispute processes in Australia and internationally. The lecturers bring extensive dispute resolution expertise to the subject and have been involved in many of Australia’s most significant constructionrelated disputes.

Principal topics will include:

  • Residential construction disputes in Victoria
  • Practice and procedure in the Supreme Courts of New South Wales and Victoria and the Federal Court of Australia, considering differences and assessing where best practice lies
  • Domestic arbitration – legislative framework: Why it is currently out of fashion and how it can be improved
  • International arbitration as an option for construction disputes: Why it is the superior form of dispute resolution for cross-border disputes and lessons that can be learnt from procedures developed in international arbitration. Includes discussion about enforcement of the agreement and awards issued by international arbitrators
  • Expert determination – strengths and weaknesses
  • Adjudication under New South Wales and Victorian security of payment legislation, comparing both to the schemes in the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions
  • Proportional liability, contributory negligence, contribution and third parties.

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Understand the provenance of forms of dispute resolution in the construction industry
  • Be familiar with and understand the legislation governing construction dispute resolution
  • Be able to manage all stages of a construction litigation, arbitration, expert determination or adjudication
  • Be able to critically assess and advise on different tactics and strategies for construction dispute resolution.

Take-home examination (100%) (24–27 May)
10,000 word research paper (100%) (10 July) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

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