Pre-action Protocols and Obligations to Attempt to Resolve Disputes Before Commencing Civil Proceedings

The aim of the Pre-action Obligations Research Project was to assess the use and effectiveness of pre-action schemes and obligations that encourage people to resolve their disputes before filing proceedings with a court or tribunal. The Research Project explored the most common approaches in use within Australia and considered issues raised about these types of obligations. Issues raised were that they may increase costs or provide a ‘hurdle' and prevent people from accessing the court and tribunal system but that, on the other hand, they may reduce costs by supporting early and more effective dispute resolution.

To examine the use and effectiveness of pre-action obligations, the Research Project explored pre-action protocols and obligations in the context of a literature review, an examination of available statistics, stakeholder input as well as qualitative and quantitative work in two selected schemes where Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes are used to support earlier pre-filing obligations, and a Background Report was prepared, which incorporated stakeholder submissions. Finally, a Final Report was prepared and published in October 2012.

Download the Final Report - Exploring Civil Pre-Action Requirements: Resolving Disputes Outside Courts (pdf, 3.3mb)

Download Resolving Disputes without Courts: Measuring the Impact of Civil Pre-action Obligations - Background Paper (pdf, 1.30mb)

More information

If you would like more information, ACJI welcomes comments regarding the Final Report or the project in general from all stakeholders and interested parties by email to:

Comments and enquiries

Alternatively, comments and enquiries may be mailed or faxed to:

Australia Centre for Justice Innovation
Monash University Law Chambers
555 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia

Phone: +61 3 9903 8013
Fax: +61 3 9903 8504