Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland has welcomed the passing of legislation which he believes will cement Australia as an international centre for international commercial arbitration.
According to McClelland, amendments to the International Arbitration Act are in line with international 'best practice' in arbitration law, thus creating a more comprehensive and clear framework for international arbitration and promoting greater efficiency in the arbitration process.
The reforms follow recent agreement amongst Australia's states and territories to adopt uniform laws on domestic arbitration, modeled on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).
Australia will now have a harmonised system for domestic and international arbitration.
"Arbitration is increasingly being used as the preferred option for resolving business and commercial disputes because it is quicker, less expensive and less formal than litigation," said McClelland.
"This represents the most significant reform to international commercial arbitration in more than 20 years and will help make Australia a significant player in the booming international commercial dispute resolution market."
The reforms coincide with the establishment of the Australian International Disputes Centre in Sydney, which features world class facilities for the resolution of disputes.