Chapter 18 Standard form contracts

A dispute resolution method is often specified in a construction contract.

Standard form contracts

Most standard form contracts provide a stepped process for the resolution of disputes. This is to encourage their early resolution. For example, AS4000-1997 requires:

  • a party to deliver a notice of dispute providing details of the dispute;
  • the parties to confer to attempt to resolve the dispute; and
  • that if not resolved within 28 days of the notice,  the dispute is referred to arbitration.

Australian Standard Contracts can be viewed at

Most standard form contracts require the parties, notwithstanding the existence of a dispute, to continue to perform their obligations under the construction contract.

Various dispute resolution mechanisms are discussed in the rest of this chapter.