The ACICA Arbitration Rules 2021: Advancing Australia's Pro-Arbitration Culture
Journal of International Arbitration, 38:6, 2021 (Forthcoming)
27 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2021 Last revised: 18 Oct 2021
Date Written: September 26, 2021
This article compares the new Rules of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration with ACICA’s 2016 Rules and those of other arbitration institutions, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. It shows how the revisions help to minimise formalisation and promote efficiencies, arguably essential for arbitration’s legitimacy given that many of arbitration’s design features are traded off for an attenuated model of the rule of the law, according to a recent analysis by Singapore’s Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon. The article explains new ACICA Rules aimed at reducing costs and delays, including measures to deepen digitalization of arbitration following the COVID-19 pandemic and to reduce the consent-based limitations inherent in arbitration, especially for multi-party and multi-contract disputes. Other new provisions include time limits for awards, and reference to mediation, although not ultimately hybrid Arb-Med. The article also examines how the Rules balance confidentiality with transparency, including new provisions for disclosure of third-party funding. It concludes by reiterating how the 2021 ACICA Rules help meet the expectations of international arbitration experts, according to recent surveys, and link to possible further reforms to underpin Australia’s increasingly pro-arbitration culture.
Keywords: international commercial arbitration, Rules, Australia, Asia-Pacific, remote hearings, confidentiality, third-party funding, law reform, costs and delays
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation