The development of arbitration law in NSW has progressed ahead of other states and territories following the introduction of the NSW Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 earlier this month, according to a leading practitioner in the field.
Doug Jones, the president of the Australian International Disputes Centre (AICD) and a partner at Clayton Utz, told Lawyers Weekly that arbitrators in other Australian states and territories would be at a competitive disadvantage as compared to NSW practitioners while they are still operated under existing Acts.
"The new Act gives arbitrators in NSW the ability to insist on processes that are consistent with the overall objectives of arbitration, which is to have an efficient, speedy and flexible approach to dispute resolution," said Jones, speaking from the International Bar Association's Annual Conference in Vancouver.
The Act means that NSW is the first state to adopt the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) model.
This comes off the back of an agreement from all states and territories in May to overhaul their arbitration structures in line with the UNCITRAL model to achieve a harmonised system for domestic and international arbitration.
"This is a major step forward for the future of domestic arbitration in Australia," Jones said.
The new Act repeals the previous Act, first enacted in 1984, which Jones said had become bogged down with inefficiencies.