International arbitration on the rise
Global demand has prompted an increase in the number of lawyers trained in international commercial arbitration, according to a Federal Court judge.
Speaking at the inaugural Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Australia and Grossi Florentino Business Lunch, Justice John Middleton of the Federal Court of Australia said there is now significant demand for international dispute resolution.
“There is an undoubted need for international dispute resolution outside the court room, and the rise in the use of international commercial arbitration in Australia that has taken place over recent years is responding to that need,” he said.
“Competition between the providers of services for international dispute resolution will increase, and we all hope the rise in the use of international commercial arbitration will also strengthen Australia’s position as a seat of arbitration.”
Justice Middleton said it is crucial for courts to support the legislative framework governing arbitration in order to understand the global context in which international commercial arbitration operates, and to be willing to preserve the integrity of the arbitral process.
“The courts are often called upon to determine questions involving arbitration proceedings in different contexts, including applications brought in aid of foreign-seated arbitrations, and for the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards,” he said.
“In dealing with enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, one of the most critical matters for courts to appreciate is that the grounds of applications before the courts should not involve a re-hearing or re-consideration of the facts.”
Justice Middleton also noted that with this rise in demand, it has become integral for judges and arbitrators to work together to enable a proper dispute resolution process.
“The statutory decision-maker (a judge) and the consensual decision-marker (an arbitrator) must work in tandem to facilitate and promote international trade and commerce through an efficient, fair and cost-effective dispute resolution process,” he said.
“Competent and careful arbitrators, and judges conscious of their proper role, will ensure this happens.”
The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Australia and Grossi Florentino Business Lunch was held at the Grossi Florentino Restaurant in Melbourne last week.
The sold-out event attracted 75 guests and was sponsored by the Victorian Bar and CommBar.
Left to right: Dr Vicky Priskich (Victorian Bar) Albert Monichino QC (CIArb Australia president), Justice John Middleton and Caroline Kenny QC (CIArb Australia vice president).