Australia - Recent Amendments To The International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth).

Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - Australia - Dispute Resolution

20 November, 2018

 

What you need to know

 

The Commonwealth Parliament has passed amendments to the International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth) incorporating the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration into Australian law, clarifying the requirements for the enforcement of foreign awards and providing more flexibility to arbitrators to award costs.

 

The Civil Law and Justice Legislation Amendment Bill (Cth) received Royal Assent on 25 October 2018 and the amendments commenced the following day.

 

On 17 September 2018, the Civil Law and Justice Legislation Amendment Bill (Cth) was introduced to the House of Representatives. The Bill proposed a number of amendments to several pieces of "civil justice" legislation, including the International Arbitration Act (IAA). 

 

In our September International Arbitration Update we discussed the key reforms proposed by the Bill to the IAA, including: 

 

  • the incorporation of the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration into Australian law; 
  • the clarification of the requirements for the enforcement of foreign awards; and 
  • the provision of more flexibility for arbitrators to award costs. 

 

For further details of the amendments, see our September International Arbitration Update.

 

On 17 October 2018, the Bill passed both Houses of Parliament without material change to the amendments to the IAA.

 

On 25 October 2018, it received Royal Assent and the amendments to the IAA commenced the next day.

 

The passage of the Bill further enhances Australia's attractiveness as a seat for arbitration and reinforces that it remains a pro-arbitration jurisdiction. 

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For further information, please contact:

 

Adam Firth, Partner, Ashurst

adam.firth@ashurst.com