New laws introduced in New South Wales this week will position Australia as a major player in the growing international market for commercial dispute resolution, said NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos.
According to Hatzistergos, the Model Commercial Arbitration Bill will form the basis for a major expansion of the state's legal services sector.
"Commercial dispute resolution is now commonly used as the preferred option for resolving business and commercial disputes around the world," he said.
"These new laws will help ensure arbitration delivers on its promise to be a quicker, less expensive and less formal option than litigation."
Hatzistergos added that reform of Australia's domestic arbitration laws was long overdue, noting the laws were almost 30 years old, and stressed the importance of national consistency.
"I am pleased that all jurisdictions agreed at the meeting to implement the Model Bill," he said.
"This will mean NSW's domestic arbitration laws align with the Commonwealth's international arbitration laws, and accepted international practice in this area."
Doug Jones, president of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), said the state was already in a good position to capitalise on the burgeoning market for international legal services.
"We enjoy close ties to Asia and Europe, our economic, political and legal environments are robust and we boast some of the best legal practitioners in the world," he said.
"These reforms to our domestic arbitration laws will benefit Australian business, and give global businesses the confidence to choose Sydney over Hong Kong, Singapore or London as the seat to solve their cross border disputes."
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