The 2010 Amendments to the International Arbitration Act: A New Dawn for Australia?
Asian International Arbitration Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 29-53, 2011
20 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2010 Last revised: 20 Feb 2012
Date Written: September 14, 2010
On 6 July 2010 Royal Assent was given to amendments passed by the Australian Federal Parliament relating to the International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth) (IAA). These were the first substantial changes to the IAA for over 20 years and consequently warrant close scrutiny. Along with some other innovations, they follow most of the 2006 revisions to the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (Model Law), which has been particularly popular for Australasian jurisdictions updating their arbitration legislation. The amended IAA also provides the agreed core for Australian states and territories updating their Commercial Arbitration Acts (CAAs), although they adopt some variants given that their focus is on domestic arbitrations. This paper considers the amended IAA’s aims, writing requirements for arbitration agreements, enforcement of foreign awards, exclusion of the Model Law, interim measures, confidentiality, other substantive matters, and the temporal application of the 2010 amendments. It concludes that their scope is somewhat limited and unadventurous, but should significantly enhance the legal regime for international arbitration in Australia.
Keywords: international commercial arbitration, comparative law, Commonwealth law
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation