CIArb Project Mediation & Dispute Avoidance (PMDA)

Special Interest Group

Differences will always occur on construction projects as well as projects in other sectors and parties require a dispute solving device. Project mediation and adjudication in some instances are now moving further up the construction process to the currency of the project, principally in the form of Dispute Boards, ‘a progressive dispute avoidance and resolution process’; this is a developing area for dispute avoidance and early resolution on medium to large projects. Good relationships are key to resolving problems as they arise on projects and investment in this area has proved to be a very wise one. Fundamentally, the different versions of progressive project mediation and dispute boards are the same, each providing early resolution based on the contractual bargain between the parties.

Dispute boards can provide an early and economical resolution of disputes on construction and infrastructure projects allowing the work to proceed without delay or increased costs. A dispute board is a creature of contract depending on the jurisdiction agreed by the parties; it can vary from a dispute review board to a dispute adjudication board. Subject to contractual arrangements it is normal for the opportunity to remain for project disputes to be referred to adjudication, arbitration or the courts if the dispute board’s recommendation or decision is not accepted by the parties.

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) is well up to speed with this emerging trend in project mediation / dispute boards and like other institutions after consultation it has published Rules for this ADR process in 2014 including relevant tripartite agreements. Aside from the obvious benefits of dispute avoidance on projects this area could provide opportunities for experienced CIArb members with professional backgrounds in the construction sector in particular combined with their accredited and flexible ADR skill set. This new Special Interest Group (SIG) on Project Mediation & Dispute Avoidance is supported by the CIArb – Irish Branch Committee and is chaired by Branch Committee Member, William Morrissey FCIArb. It will engage with the sector, review the position and best practice and assess opportunities and requirements in this area of ADR for the Members and report to the Branch Committee.



Bill Morrissey (T: 01- 6401969); (e-mail: ) or