Adjudication is an expedited form of dispute resolution that provides interim binding determinations in specific circumstances. While there are similarities to arbitration, notably in terms of more relaxed rules of evidence, its dissimilarities justify its characterization as a distinct form of dispute resolution. Adjudication processes, like arbitration, are usually governed by statute, which often set out requirements on the qualifications and experience of the decision-maker. While most commonly encountered in construction prompt payment legislation, adjudication processes can also be found in the field of human resources and other sectors. As a form of “rough justice”, adjudication determinations are typically binding on the parties unless the dispute is submitted thereafter to arbitration or court proceedings.
In summary, the essential characteristics of adjudication include:
· Not governed by the Arbitration Act(s) but, rather, by other statutes or contracts.
· An expedited process, usually with prescribed timelines for most steps including delivery of the
· Adjudicator decisions are usually referred to as Determinations;
· Adjudicator qualifications and experience are prescribed;
· Procedural fairness and the principles of administrative law are emphasized;
· Rules of evidence are relaxed;
· No hearing required;
· Relies primarily on written submissions;
· Determinations are considered interim and binding.
· Determinations are subject to judicial review and the dispute can still be submitted to arbitration or litigation.