Arbitration is a process in which the parties to a dispute present arguments and evidence to a dispute resolution practitioner (the arbitrator) who makes a determination. The process is private and, subject to the parties’ agreement, can be confidential. It offers a flexible and efficient means of resolving disputes both domestically and internationally. The decision of the arbitral tribunal is final and binding. The award is enforceable.

Many commercial and construction disputes are arbitrated in Australia. The Australian Disputes Centre’s dispute resolution clauses are regularly used in commercial contracts across Australia. ADC’s domestic arbitration sample clause and ADC’s Arbitration Guidelines are available free of charge on this website.

In the international arena arbitration can be especially effective as there may be difficulties in litigating the dispute in a jurisdiction acceptable to all parties to a contract. For international commercial disputes, arbitration is particularly useful as it allows cross border transactions to be dealt with impartially by neutral, third party arbitrators and under a neutral legal system chosen by the parties. An award made in an international arbitration is enforceable under the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in any State that is a signatory to the NY Convention giving it a wider and more effective reach than most court judgments.

The Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration has formulated its own international rules which can be referred to in any contract. A model arbitration clause recommended by ACICA is available free of charge from its website.

Industry Insights

  • Case note: In the matter of Infinite Plus Pty Ltd [2017] NSWSC 470 [Here]
  • Influence of the Arbitral Seat in the Outcome of an International Commercial Arbitration [Here]
  • Tribunal Secretaries – back in the limelight [Here]
  • The new ICC Arbitration Rules: improving the efficiency of arbitrating low to medium value disputes [Here]
  • Are banks making the most of arbitration? [Here]
  • Developments in International Arbitration – Khawar Quresi QC [Here]

Practitioners’ resources

  • International commercial arbitration: the courts and the rule of law in the Asia Pacific region – Justice James Allsop [Here]
  • Judicial support of arbitration – Justice James Allsop [Here]
  • Investor-State Arbitration: Evaluating Australia’s Evolving Position – Leon Trakman [Here]
  • The Status of Investor-State Arbitration: Resolving Investment Disputes Under the Transpacific Partnership Agreement – Leon Trakman [Here]
  • Ethical obligations in arbitration – Deborah Lockhart (AIDC Newsletter 2014) [Here]