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Disputes in the construction industry abound, and there are a number of procedures to resolve them as an alternative to arbitration and litigation. The best known form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is mediation which is attracting interest as a real alternative to more traditional methods. It has been widely used since the early 1980s in the USA where it originated. It involves using a third party as mediator, acceptable to the disputants between whom mutual understanding to resolve the dispute is not possible. A. Jawad
Structural engineers appointed as the engineer on civil engineering contracts have sought to maintain a fair and independent approach to differences that arise on site. The quasi-arbitral duties called for in those contracts can no longer be performed. In order to ensure the early resolution of disputes and thereby save the parties‘ costs, it is essential to introduce a form of mediation that provides for the regular intervention of neutral persons to assist in the resolution of disputes during the course of the works. Three processes are advocated - a board of three members for large and complex projects; an advisor for the less complex; and a mediator on call where retention throughout the works is not justified by the cost. The procedures are incorporated into the contract conditions, and the board or individuals are appointed at the outset of the contract. K. Severn and P.L. Campbell
Members will, no doubt, be aware of the proposed introduction of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations (CDM), to have become effective originally on 1 January 1994 but which have now been postponed so that they will come into force on 1 October 1994, following a 3 month ‘lead in’ period. S.G. Evans and J.M. Roberts