Dispute resolution in the Asia/Pacific region from the Australian perspective is the focus of this article. The efforts of the commercial courts in Australia to facilitate dispute settlement are discussed, and a review of the Commercial Arbitration Act 1984 (NSW) shows the steps that have been taken to strengthen arbitration in Australia. In addition, dispute resolution centers have recently been established in Sydney and Melbourne to offer alternative dispute resolution services, in both the domestic and international spheres.
Notwithstanding its primarily Anglo-Saxon origins, Australia is now clearly part of the Asia/ Pacific region, in terms of geography, economics, and politics. More and more, Australia is also being linked socially and culturally with that region.
Currently, 42 percent of all Australian imports come from Asia and only 25 percent from North America. Fifty-seven percent of all Australian exports go to Asia and 12 percent to North America.1 Such a level of international trade necessarily gives rise to some disputes.