Since January 2012, Australia is one step closer to a uniform
framework for domestic arbitration, the finalisation of which will
see major benefits to any party attempting to resolve disputes by
way of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) measures. In July 2010,
new legislation governing international arbitration in Australia,
the International Arbitration Amendment Act 2010 (Cth), passed into
law and created a framework for international arbitration
consistent with worldwide best practice. At that time, the reform
was complemented by the Commercial Arbitration Bill (Cth), a Model
Law drafted by the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, with
the aim of creating a uniform framework for domestic arbitration in
The aims of the Model Law included aligning Australian domestic
arbitration processes with international arbitration processes,
enhancing the powers of arbitrators and increasing efficiency and
certainty by reducing the scope for intervention by courts. The
effect of the Model Law is to strengthen commercial arbitration as
a cost-effective and binding form of ADR in Australia.
For Australian Government Agencies, the use of arbitration and
other forms of ADR is an important element of compliance with the
Legal Services Directions as well as the Civil Dispute Resolution
Act 2011 (Cth) and new Federal Court Rules which both came into
force in 2011. It is also consistent with the former Commonwealth
Attorney-General's push for a cultural shift within agencies
away from litigious resolution of disputes towards early resolution
by way of ADR processes.
In relation to the adoption of the Model Law by each state and
territory, NSW was the first state to pass legislation reflecting
the Model Law in 2010. Since that time, the uniform Model Law has
been adopted and is currently in operation in Victoria and South
Australia. As at January 2012, Tasmania and the Northern Territory
have now assented to a uniform Act and are currently in the process
of setting a commencement date. Bills are currently before the
Parliaments of Western Australia and Queensland which reflect the
Model Law. A bill reflecting the Model Law is yet to be introduced
into the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital
Based on current trends, it is likely that uniform commercial
arbitration legislation will be in operation in at least five
states and territories by the end of 2012. Australian Government
Agencies should be open to the use of arbitration as an efficient
and effective form of ADR and be on the look out for circumstances
where arbitration may be a viable alternative to lengthy and
expensive court processes.
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.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
This was an interlocutory decision about the appointment of a tutor for the child appellant, to carry on his proceedings.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).