NSW chief justice James Spigelman will spend his last working day tomorrow (28 May) speaking at a dispute resolution conference.
Spigelman will deliver the keynote address at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Asia-Pacific Conference in Sydney, with former United Kingdom Attorney-General Lord Peter Goldsmith to follow.
Spigelman steps down as NSW chief justice after 13 years in the role, with Tom Bathurst QC his successor. Spigelman has said he will remain active in the legal profession as an arbitrator.
The CIArb conference kicked-off this morning (27 May), with the theme of Investment and Innovation: International Dispute Resolution in the Asia-Pacific. Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland paid tribute to Spigelman in delivering the opening keynote address.
"If I could commend the tremendous service he has provided to the state of NSW and the development of law generally around Australia," McClelland said.
He then went on to talk about recent developments in commercial arbitration in Australia, such as the opening of the Australian International Disputes Centre (AIDC) last year, as evidence that Australia was looking to challenge traditional seats of arbitration in Europe and Asia.
"The changes the Australian international arbitration scene has undergone over the last few years means that we can stand alongside these countries, including Singapore and Hong Kong, as one of the choices of businesses in deciding to arbitrate in the Asia-Pacific region," he said.
Leng Haidong, the deputy secretary general of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CEITAC) followed McClelland and spoke about the influence the Chinese arbitration model is having on the rest of the world.
"The combination of arbitration and mediation, which is known as the 'oriental experience' was first practiced by CEITAC but it has also been written into the model law and arbitration laws of other jurisdictions," he said.
Those at the conference will discuss topics including regional challenges and opportunities for arbitration, as well as arbitration from a commercial client perspective.