Recent legislative developments in the International
Arbitration landscape will assist parties in Australia who choose
to participate in this area of dispute resolution. Revisions to the
UNCITRAL International Arbitration Rules alongside recent domestic
legislative developments will deliver a more effective mechanism
for cross-border dispute resolution.
The recently introduced International Arbitration Amendment
Act 2010 (Cth), which commenced in July this year, draws
heavily on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law
(UNCITRAL) Model Law on International Commercial
Arbitration. The Act amends the International Arbitration Act
1974 (Cth) and will now provide greater flexibility to
Under the changes, the Federal Court now has a greater role in
supervising, assisting and enforcing arbitrations, with the Model
Law applying to the exclusion of state Commercial Arbitration Acts.
Agreements are now easier to enforce, whether made in writing,
orally or electronically. Arbitrators have been granted power to
make order for the security for costs as well as the right to grant
interim measures to protect parties' rights, thus creating
Coinciding with changes on the domestic front, UNCITRAL has
revised their frequently cited International Arbitration Rules.
Arbitration agreements coming into effect after 15 August 2010 will
now be subject to the following changes:
parties no longer have to agree in writing that the UNCITRAL
rules will be those adopted in the course of arbitration. Any
record that displays an agreement to be bound by the Rules is
sufficient: (Article 1)
the Notice of Arbitration may now be transmitted
electronically; arguments that address sufficiency of notice will
no longer hinder the constitution of the tribunal: (Articles 2
parties waive the right to bring any claim against the
arbitrators and the appointing authority based on any act or
omission in connection with the arbitration (other than intentional
wrongdoing): (Article 16)
third parties may now be joined to the proceedings and claims
made against them in response to the Notice of Arbitration:
new interim measures outline the Tribunal's power to
require the applicant to provide security, to alter or terminate
the interim measure imposed and use costs and damages awards to
prevent or compensate for abuse of the procedure: (Article 26)
the revised Rules introduce the right to external review and
correction of arbitrators' fees: (Article 41)
an important omission in the Rules is a requirement of
confidentiality. As confidentiality is not governed by the rules,
parties may wish to include this clause in their individual
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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