find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
IR Advisor/Member Advocate
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: St Leonards NSW 2065
· Permanent (0.8-1.0 FTE) role in a developing team
View details
Lack of arbitration culture costly

Lack of arbitration culture costly

The Attorney-General has criticised the lack of a maritime arbitration culture in Australia.Speaking about arbitration for the first time since the International Arbitration Amendment Bill was…

The Attorney-General has criticised the lack of a maritime arbitration culture in Australia.

Speaking about arbitration for the first time since the International Arbitration Amendment Bill was passed in Parliament in June, Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland used an address at last week's (1 July) fourth annual Australian Maritime and Transport Arbitration Commission (AMTAC) to call for Australia to establish a local culture of arbitration before it can promote itself as a centre for the resolution of international maritime disputes.

"Australia is an island nation whose economy depends on sea trade. Further, we are a nation in a region which is full of shipping nations and major sea routes," said McClelland.

"Australia enjoys a natural advantage as a venue for resolving international maritime disputes. That advantage extends to our arbitrators and other legal professionals ... Australia is a key centre of expertise in maritime law. However ... Australia is yet to turn these natural advantages into commercial advantages."

Peter McQueen, chairman of AMTAC, told Lawyers Weekly he is certainly keen to promote Australia's international arbitration capabilities, particularly in relation to maritime disputes, and believes there has never been a better time to do so.

"We are in the best position we have ever been to promote Australia, because we have the amendments to the International Arbitration Act and we now have a centre in Sydney's Australian International Dispute Centre (AIDC) which is being formally opened on 3 August," he said.

"We can now promote Australia, not just in the international sense, but also the domestic sense with the development of a new [uniform] Commercial Arbitration Act for all of the states."

According to McClelland, AMTAC already has several initiatives in place which are enhancing Australia's reputation, such as the Rocket Docket which guarantees a written award within three months for fixed-fee small claims arbitrated by a single arbitrator.

But McQueen acknowledges that even though the foundations are now in place, the process of increasing the volume of international arbitration in Australia is a painstaking process.

"We realise that this is a slow old process so we've just got to keep promoting ourselves and the benefits," he said.

McQueen is confident, however, that Australia will eventually be seen as a desirable locale for the settling of maritime disputes.

"In those cases [in which] at least one of the two parties operates in Australia, where the facts, circumstances and evidence relating to the dispute happen in Australia, why should we go off and have those sorts of disputes arbitrated in London or Singapore?" he said.

"Historically, that has been the case and that is what we are working to change."

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Lack of arbitration culture costly
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Sep 20 2017
Silk picked to monitor national security laws
Dr James Renwick SC has been appointed as Independent National Security Legislation Monitor after se...
Two businessman, growth
Sep 19 2017
Aus catching up on international arbitration front
Australia is starting to see a spike in international arbitration with this set to continue over the...
Sep 19 2017
Manson family killer suffered ‘miscarriage of justice’: former lawyer
A retired Australian barrister has published a book on the Manson Family murders of 1969 and called ...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...