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Supportive legal environment

International Arbitration Act 2010 (IAA) and Commercial arbitration act 2010

On 17 June 2010 the Australian Parliament amended the International Arbitration Act 1974 to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and affordability of international commercial arbitration.

On 22 June the NSW Parliament passed the Commercial Arbitration Act 2010, which amends NSW law applying to domestic arbitrations to harmonize it with the law applying to international arbitration.

The NSW law is based on model law agreed to by all jurisdictions, and will ensure Australia has uniform laws applying to all domestic and international arbitrations.

These reforms provide the framework for internationally experienced Australian arbitrators to resolve local, cross-border and international disputes on Australian territory.

Opt-in/opt-out provisions

It is up to the parties to decide whether the arbitration will be governed by the Model Law or by a different set of arbitration rules.

If parties elect to opt out of the Model Law they can still rely upon the remainder of the Act.

In arbitrations governed by the IAA, parties can also opt in to additional provisions, which provide for the consolidation of proceedings, interest rates and the enforcement of interim measures.

Representation through foreign lawyers

Foreign lawyers may appear in arbitrations conducted in Australia. The IAA allows parties before an arbitration tribunal to be represented by qualified legal practitioners or any persons of their choice from any other jurisdiction.

New York Convention 1958

Australia has been a signatory to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards since 1975.

Supportive courts

Sydney's commercial courts appreciate the independence and significance of arbitral proceedings and are rigorous in enforcing arbitral awards and agreements. The courts are extremely efficient and of the highest integrity.

Political stability

Australia is politically stable and one of the safest destinations in the world.