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Arbitrators join forces across the Tasman

Arbitrators join forces across the Tasman

Albert Monichino David Kreider

Alternative dispute resolution bodies in Australia and New Zealand have partnered to promote arbitration in response to a free trade agreement negotiated by both countries.

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Australia (CIArb Australia) and the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ) have signed a memorandum of understanding under which both will encourage the use of arbitration for cross-border disputes.

The deal comes after the first protocol for the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement was signed last year, boosting Australasian trade and demand for cross-border dispute resolution.

In continuing talks on the FTA, Australia and New Zealand are jointly negotiating with ASEAN nations – including Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – to reduce tariffs and increase export opportunities, according to Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

A statement from CIArb said the FTA would also include an “investor-state dispute resolution mechanism that provides a right to international arbitration (investor-state dispute settlement) to resolve disputes about alleged breaches of these obligations."

The memorandum between the organisations was signed in Sydney last week and the first undertaking will be the AMINZ Annual Conference, supported by CIArb, in July.

CIArb Australia president Albert Monichino QC (pictured with David Kreider of AMINZ) said the memorandum would help expose Australian arbitrators to the international market.

“This agreement is a significant step in a strategic alliance to promote the dispute resolution services of our members to the global market that will benefit commercial parties and investors alike,” he said.

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