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Arbitration Law in Victoria Comes of Age

by Albert Monichino

Albert Monichino SC Department of Justice Seminar, Melbourne 30 November 2011.

The Commercial Arbitration Act 2011 (Vic) (‘the revised CAA’), which was enacted by the Victorian Parliament in October 2011, repeals and replaces the Commercial Arbitration Act 1984 (Vic). The latter Act was part of a compact of statutes enacted by the six States and two Territories in about 1984 to regulate domestic arbitration. They were progressively reformed until about 1990. From 1990 until June 2010, they had uniform status. The enactment of the revised CAA is part of the modernisation and harmonisation of Australia’s international and domestic arbitration regimes. Arbitration is booming in the Asia-Pacific region. It is the preferred method of dispute resolution for disputes in respect of transnational commercial contracts. The impetus for the recent reforms is to position Australia as a hub for dispute resolution in the Asia-Pacific region. This paper:

  • briefly describes the history of the reform process;
  • discusses the significance of the UNCITRAL Model Law;
  • identifies some major issues in respect of the operation of the revised CAA as compared with the uniform Acts; and
  • identifies some future challenges for domestic arbitration in Australia.

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