In recent years, and despite its relative distance, there has been a growth in the popularity of both Australia as a seat of arbitration, and the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) as the parties’ choice of arbitral institution.
It is now commonplace to find arbitration clauses in cross-border contracts between Chinese and Australian companies providing for ACICA arbitration, and it is hardly surprising that this is the case.
As described by Chief Justice Warren, of the Supreme Court of the Australian state of Victoria – at an ACICA promotional tour last year of Shanghai and Beijing – Australia is a “safe and neutral” arbitration seat. Its attractiveness was boosted by amendments made to Australia’s International Arbitration Act in 2010. ACICA is Australia’s only international arbitration institution. In 2011, a new set of arbitration rules were introduced, which provide what you would expect from modern arbitration rules.
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The authors, Mark Elvy and Lorraine Hui, are Partner and Senior Associate, respectively, at Ashurst