A Judicial Liaison Committee to be headed by former High Court Justice Murray Gleeson has been established to provide consistency on Australian arbitration matters.
The idea of the Committee was floated by senior members within the Australian Centre for Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), with its formation coming about after discussions with members of the judiciary and the Federal Government.
The eight member Committee was formed as a response to legislative changes resulting from the International Arbitration Act 2010, which came into force in July, and the establishment of the Australian International Disputes Centre, which opened in August.
The Act included a raft of reforms, including the adoption of the UN Model Law for international commercial arbitration and the ability for approved, non-court entities to appoint arbitrators under certain circumstances.
The Committee will look to remove uncertainty surrounding the enforcement of arbitration agreements, the appointment of arbitrators, interim measures in support of arbitration and the enforcement of awards.
Other Committee members include Federal Court Justice John Middleton, Western Australia Chief Justice Wayne Martin, President of the NSW Court of Appeal Justice James Allsop, Justice Clyde Croft (Vic), Justice James Douglas (Qld), Justice Judith Kelly (Northern Territory) and Doug Jones, the President of the Australian Centre for Commercial Arbitration and a Sydney based partner with Clayton Utz.
Committee members were appointed after extensive dialogue between various state Supreme Court bodies and the Federal Court. It is expected that a Committee member from South Australia will be appointed at a later date.
"International arbitration has emerged as the process of choice for businesses in the global economy as international investors want to avoid the uncertainty of litigation in foreign courts," Committee member Doug Jones said
It is expected the Committee will meet sporadically over a 12 to 18 month period.