What are dispute boards?
Dispute boards are created by contract and aid the parties in resolving their disagreements. In the last twenty years there has been an increasing demand for less adversarial dispute resolution methods such as mediation, conciliation and dispute boards.
What are the benefits of using a dispute board?
Board members may be called upon as soon as a problem arises and help the parties resolve their differences before they become polarised in their views.
The dispute avoidance role of the standing board should be emphasised: the dispute board encourages the parties to solve their own problems, creating an atmosphere where the parties communicate and recourse to the advisory role of the board.
Resolving conflicts at an early stage, or even before they arise, is an obvious benefit that greatly minimises costs such as legal fees, and reduces loss of productive time and goodwill between the parties.
When should a dispute board be established?
Dispute boards should be set up at the outset of a contract and remain in place throughout its duration.
Thus the dispute board members will be familiar with the contract and its performance, and also be acquainted with the parties, making the board an effective dispute resolution mechanism with 'real-time' value.
Ideally, the dispute board members become part of the project team and are trusted to be fair and impartial, so that their advice will be readily accepted by all parties.
Who uses a dispute board?
The need for prompt, cost-effective and impartial dispute resolution can be found in many contractual relationships in several industries.
In order to meet this need, CIArb offers the international business community the CIArb Dispute Board Rules, which cater to any medium or long-term project, whether construction, IT, commercial or otherwise.
CIArb Dispute Appointment Service