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On 21 November 2008, the Attorney-General announced a review of the International Arbitration Act 1974 and requested submissions on a discussion paper outlining the areas for review. The public submissions received by the Department are available below.
These submissions formed the basis for the International Arbitration Amendment Bill 2009, which the Attorney-General introduced into Parliament on 25 November 2009. The Bill was passed by Parliament on 17 June 2010 (see Media Release) and received Royal Assent on 6 July 2010.
The main features of the International Arbitration Amendment Act 2010 are:
- the adoption of the 2006 amendments to the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration
- the provision of guidance on how the Model Law is to be interpreted, and
- the modernisation of the International Arbitration Act.
The amendments to the International Arbitration Act provide a more comprehensive and clear framework for international arbitration in Australia by promoting greater efficiency in the arbitration process through the adoption of international ‘best practice’ in arbitration law.
International Arbitration Regulations 2011
Under the International Arbitration Act, where the normal process for appointing an arbitrator breaks down, an ‘appointing authority’ can appoint an arbitrator to the dispute. The International Arbitration Regulations 2011, which commenced on 2 March 2011, make the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) the sole appointing authority for the purposes of the Act.
ACICA has developed a procedure to appoint arbitrators that supports a transparent decision making process. This procedure will be overseen by an Appointment Advisory Board, which includes representatives from the courts, legal profession, industry and the Department.
Comments and submissions