What is Adjudication?

Adjudication is a generic term for a form of alternative dispute resolution in which a decision, binding at least in the short term, is made by an expert appointed by the parties (hence the alternative term "expert determination").

In recent years, Adjudication has come to mean a more specific form of statutory dispute resolution, beginning with the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (England and Wales), which created a default scheme of adjudication to be incorporated into most construction contracts.

This scheme has been operating successfully for over five years, and a substantial body of case law now exists. For further information on the UK scheme, visit adjudication.co.uk .

In Australia, two states, New South Wales and Victoria, have adopted adjudication schemes based on the UK model. The NSW Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 and the Victorian Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 are both now in operation, and various bodies in each state have been appointed as Authorised Nominating Authorities, entitled to nominate adjudicators when requested to do so by one of the parties to a dispute over payment. Parties are not obliged to use an ANA (although they soon will be in NSW), and can appoint any suitable person by agreement with the other party.

While in theory anyone can be an adjudicator, in practice the parties are unlikely to appoint anyone who does not possess high levels of skills and experience, both in his/her original profession or trade, and in the specialised skills of adjudication. In most countries there are Institutes or Associations of Adjudicators dedicated to maintaining the levels of training of people practising as adjudicators. The best known is perhaps the Adjudication Society, based in London.

More information can be found on:

In NSW, the scheme is administered by the Department of Works and Services. In Victoria, the scheme is administered by the Building Commission.

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