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Oz arbitrators spruik wares in Asia

Oz arbitrators spruik wares in Asia

The chief justice of Victoria, the Hon Marilyn Warren AC, was among the speakers who talked up Australia’s international arbitration credentials at events in Shanghai and Beijing this week (6 and 7 June).

The Australian Arbitration Option conferences, hosted by The Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), were held at the China offices of King & Wood Mallesons, the largest law firm in Asia. A mix of senior lawyers from international and local law firms attended, including representatives from Chinese companies and arbitral institutions.

Warren provided an overview of the Australian judicial system, which she described as a “safe and neutral” arbitration seat.

“Australia, with its stable economic, political and legal systems ... is well placed to meet the growing demand for first-rate, cost-effective arbitration services in the Asia-Pacific region,” she told conference delegates.

Warren added that Australia’s arbitral landscape has a number of innovative and effective sets of Arbitral Rules, citing the ACICA Rules (revised in 2011) and the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia Arbitration Rules as examples.

ACICA president Professor Doug Jones AM (pictured) also presented at the conference.

He told Lawyers Weekly that Warren's keynote went a long way to reassuring delegates that Australia’s arbitration system has the support of the judicial system.

“Having a senior judicial figure attend was hugely valuable,” he said.

“It’s absolutely critical for parties choosing a place for international arbitration to know it’s a place where judges, who may become involved, understand arbitration and are sympathetic and supportive of it.”

ACICA is planning similar events in the Middle East, Japan, Malaysia and parts of the United States before the end of the year, revealed Jones. The conferences will be adjusted to suit the legal scene and market conditions of the host country.

“It requires a lot of effort to keep persisting with getting the message out there but having the support of the government and the judiciary helps so much to keep that energy level up,” said Jones.

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