Workers’ Compensation Dispute Resolution Procedures in Western Australia – The New Regime
AbstractSince November 2005, workers’ compensation disputes have been resolved by the Dispute Resolution Directorate (DRD). The process of dispute resolution involves three stages: conciliation, arbitration and, where necessary, appeal. As with other dispute resolution schemes adopted in Western Australia and elsewhere the DRD emphasises speedy, informal resolution of disputes. However, the current system departs from its predecessor the Conciliation and Review Directorate in a number of important aspects which are examined in this paper. The Western Australian DRD has adopted the ‘front loaded’ form of application as developed in New South Wales, but has designed rules and regulations unique to the Western Australian system. The primary purpose of these rules is to facilitate prompt resolution of disputes through full disclosure of evidence at the earliest opportunity. This paper examines the new scheme in detail and reflects on previous disputes processes adopted in Western Australia. It offers some reflections on the evolution of the Western Australian system.
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