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Abstract

[extract] This article falls into four main parts. By way of background and in order to provide a context within which to analyse the model [dispute resolution] procedure [for AWAs], the article begins with a brief description of the dispute resolution system which has dominated Australian industrial relations at the federal level for most of this century. It also provides an overview of some of the recent legislative reforms in federal industrial relations, in so far as they are relevant to AWAs. The second part of the article outlines a range of principles which serve as guidelines in the process of designing dispute resolution systems. The system created by the model procedure for AWAs is critiqued in the third part of the article. Since the model procedure operates within the legislative framework of the Workplace Relations Act, the next part of the article examines the capacity of industrial relations institutions such as the Employment Advocate and the Australian Industrial Relations Commission to remedy the deficiencies in the model procedure. It concludes that the capacity of these institutions in this regard is limited. With these limitations in mind, some suggestions for improving the model procedure are offered.

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