Australia - Arbitration Law and Practice in Asia - Second Edition
A. Current Status of the Law and Arbitration
Over the last two decades, Australia has developed a strong arbitration culture and is an attractive forum for the resolution of disputes as an established common law jurisdiction positioned in the Asia-Pacific region with English as its national language. It is also a forum which provides a neutral seat with a modern legislative framework, a supportive judiciary and world-standard infrastructure. While construction and engineering disputes have traditionally been the types of disputes most commonly arbitrated, the increase in trade between Australia and countries in the Asia-Pacific region has resulted in arbitration increasingly becoming the method of choice for resolving disputes in matters related to energy, resources, oil & gas and shipping.
In recognition of the growth of international arbitration in the region, the Australian International Disputes Centre, a specialist venue for arbitration hearings, was opened in Sydney in August 2010. Plans for a similar venue in Victoria culminated in the establishment of the Melbourne Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Centre in March 2014.
Australia is a federation made up of a Federal Government known as the Commonwealth of Australia, six State Governments and two Territory Governments.
The primary sources of law in Australia are common law and legislation. The common law comprises decisions of the courts and tribunals of the Federal Government, as well as the decisions of the courts and tribunals of the State and Territory Governments. Legislation is also comprised of the statutory rules and regulations of the Federal, State and Territory Governments.
At the Federal level, the International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth) (IAA), adopts a strict territorial criterion and governs all international arbitration proceedings with Australia as their juridical seat or if recognition and enforcement is sought within Australia, unless one of the limited exceptions applies.