VICTORIA thinks its been left out in the cold on dispute resolution, with lawyers calling for an international dispute centre based in Melbourne.
The Victorian Bar and the Law Institute of Victoria, with four national dispute resolution bodies, have called on Federal and State governments to help establish an Australian International Dispute Centre (AIDC) in Melbourne.
A centre would consolidate Australia as a regional centre for the resolution of commercial and legal disputes and link to a network of international facilities and capitalise on the rapid growth in trade in the south-east Asian region, and infrastructure development in Victoria.
“It’s an essential part of ensuring the appeal of Victoria and Australia as a place to do business efficiently. This includes the ability to resolve trade and commercial disputes efficiently without necessarily having to go interstate, overseas or to court,” said Victorian Bar chairman Mark Moshinsky SC.
He said a new centre would help capitalise on the arbitrators and judges in Victoria.
Centres already established in Singapore and Hong Kong experience high demand as international arbitration gains popularity as a mean of settling disputes.
The proposed Melbourne Centre would be linked to a centre opened in Sydney last year – with both becoming part of a network of international arbitration centres.
“We believe that this centre will expand the network of centres for local and international clients from Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore, right through to London,” LIV President Caroline Counsel said.
“The Courts, the Government and the legal profession are united in their support for Alternative Dispute Resolution as an alternative to litigation – now we need to establish a first class dedicated facility in Melbourne,” Counsel said.
The joint submission to Commonwealth Attorney-General Robert McClelland MP and Victorian Attorney- General Robert Clark MP is the combined effort of the LIV, the Victorian Bar, the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), the Australian International Disputes Centre (AIDC), the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Australia) and the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia (IAMA).
The organisations propose working with the two tiers of government to establish the centre.
The submission sought seed funding from the Governments to establish the centre, which would become a self-funding provider of ADR services, the organisations said in a joint statement.