Australian domestic arbitration legislation
Andrew Robertson (Partner), Piper Alderman
As previously reported, Australia is continuing to modernise and harmonise its domestic and international arbitration legislation by adopting the UNCITRAL Model Law. The result will be broadly to align domestic and international legislation.
Constitutionally, the international legislation is issued by the Commonwealth Parliament and the domestic legislation by the separate Parliaments of the six States and two Territories. The new Commercial Arbitration Act (Act) was passed into law in New South Wales last year. While the Act is not yet law throughout Australia, equivalent legislation is continuing to move through the relevant processes in the majority of States and Territories. The process of adopting the Act is underway in three States (Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia) and also in the Northern Territory. Only two States (Victoria, Queensland) and the Australian Capital Territory have yet to commence the necessary parliamentary processes.
During July, the process of adopting the Act has proceeded swiftly, with the South Australian Bill being passed by the House of Assembly (the Lower House) and its transmission to the Legislative Council.
For details of the background to the new legislation, see Legal updates, Australian domestic arbitration law gathers momentum (www.practicallaw.com/0-505-9636), Australia to get new domestic arbitration legislation (www.practicallaw.com/1-502-4316) and Australian domestic arbitration law continues to advance (www.practicallaw.com/9-506-6755).