Melbourne will continue to be at the forefront of the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) movement despite the fact Sydney will host the new Australian International Disputes Centre (AIDC), claims the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV).
Speaking to Lawyers Weekly today, LIV president Steven Stevens said Melbourne's legal community is not disappointed the AIDC will be in Sydney, regardless of the fact Victoria has been leading the push towards greater use of ADR mechanisms.
"[Victoria has] been very active in this area and we will clearly continue to be active. We believe we're at the forefront of Australia in the ADR mechanisms," he said.
Stevens also said the AIDC will only deal with a small sector of ADR as a whole, and the Australian legal profession needs to continue to get behind ADR initiatives.
"The Sydney centre will focus on arbitration and that is good, but arbitration is only one form of a whole range of ADR mechanisms," he said.
"The legal profession needs to support and promote ADR and we've been doing that actively in Victoria. We hope other states will follow suit."
Stevens added that although the AIDC could equally have been established in Melbourne, the fact it is going to Sydney will not detract from Victoria's continued campaign to promote ADR, adding that if an opportunity arose to establish a second international arbitration centre in Australia, Melbourne would be a prime contender.
"We'll have to wait and see how the centre goes in Sydney ... If there is a need for a second arbitration venue in Australia, then we'll be putting our hands up for it, and Melbourne will certainly be a very appropriate place to have it," he said.
- Claire Chaffey