Overview In 2015, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria highlighted the importance of positioning Australia as one of the next significant regional commercial hubs. Her Honour reiterated this position in a 2017 speech. Interestingly, similar, yet more subtle, comments were featured in a speech in 2009. Other Australian courts have made similar…

Singapore and Hong Kong are now considered to be amongst the top arbitration seats in the world, rivalling the long-established seats of London, Paris and Geneva. Perpetuating their dominance in the region, parties to contracts in the Asia-Pacific often choose either of these seats by default with no consideration of alternatives. This is underpinned, to…

On 22 March 2017, with minimal fanfare, the Civil Law and Justice Amendment Legislation Bill 2017 (“2017 Bill”) was introduced into the upper house of the federal Parliament. Buried within this omnibus Bill were four proposed reforms to the International Arbitration Act (IAA), renamed as such in 1989 when Australia was one of the first…

Introduction Western Australia has many of the hallmarks of an arbitral hub: from a stable liberal democracy, a reliable and predictable judiciary, and very low rates of corruption, to offices of numerous national and international law firms, world-standard business hotels (albeit only a recent arrival), and an efficient international airport (again, only of late, but…

Recent developments in the international investment scene have also impacted the Asian region. Notably, China and Southeast Asia have emerged not just as growing foreign direct investment (FDI) recipients but also as major sources of outbound FDI. In parallel, the Asian region experienced a proliferation in international investment agreements (IIAs). Asian countries were initially hesitant…

On 1 January 2017, the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (‘ACICA’) released a new Guideline on the Use of Tribunal Secretaries. This new Guideline addresses a silence in the existing ACICA Arbitration Rules as to the scope for tribunals to appoint arbitral secretaries, and the basis upon which they might be appointed. This post…

On 30 November, Australia’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) released its Report 165 on its inquiry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). JSCOT is a 16-member parliamentary committee tasked with advising the Australian parliament on ratification of treaties. This article presents an overview and discussion of the Report’s findings on ISDS, the most common…

Critics of the TPP, and ISDS protections more generally, have often argued that a particular concern is that the US is not only a large source of FDI, but that it is ‘the nation whose corporations use ISDS the most’ (referring to ANU’s Professor Thomas Faunce). A recent paper by ANU’s Dr Kyla Tienhaara for…

In the United States, approval prospects may appear bleak for the Trans-Pacific Partnership  Agreement (“TPP”) – at least at present. The current political climate appears generally negative on trade, and even Vice President Joe Biden stated recently that he saw “less than an even chance” that TPP would be approved before the new U.S. president…

On 11 April 2016, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (“Timor-Leste”) commenced the first ever compulsory conciliation proceedings under Annex V, section 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”). The proceedings concern the disputed maritime boundary between Timor-Leste and Australia in the Timor Sea. Australia objected to the conciliation on…

The two Philip Morris cases involving restrictions on the presentation and sale of cigarettes through plain packaging measures has been used by anti-ISDS groups as the prime example for creating the myth that treaty arbitration causes states not to adopt certain measures for the protection of public goods, i.e., results in so-called “regulatory chill”. This…

by Catherine H. Gibson (Assistant Editor for North America) The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement (official text here) is one in a series of significant investment agreements that the United States will negotiate in the coming months and years – next in line are the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement and the United States-China bilateral…

by Nahila Cortes, American University Washington College of Law Much is being said about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“TPP”), the landmark free trade agreement signed by twelve States accounting for 40% of the world trade. Chapter 9, the investment chapter, is an important provision which applies to investors (i.e. a national or company of a…

by Esmé Shirlow (Assistant Editor for Australia & New Zealand)   Gabriele Ruscalla has recently observed that “transparency has become a fundamental principle in international adjudication”. The transparency paradigms governing different types of international adjudication are, however, far from uniform. Discussions of transparency in international arbitration typically begin, for example, from a distinction between commercial and investment treaty disputes. As Cristoffer Nyegaard Mollestad explains…

Dear Readers, you may have noticed the dearth of recent posts, for which we make no excuses. It is late summer for the northern hemisphere contributors. At this point, most of us are lingering poolside at the Kluwer International Arbitration Resort and Amusement Park, sipping procedural cocktails in the waning light as the children take…

On 24 June 2015, the Australian Productivity Commission released its eighteenth Trade and Assistance Review 2013-14. The Commission is an independent research and advisory body, with statutory authority to report annually on the economic impacts of Australia’s international trade policy. As readers of this blog may recall, in previous years the Commission’s Review has influenced…

Keeping abreast of Australia’s stance on ISDS can be a confusing exercise. Australia’s approach to investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) continues to be hotly debated in the wake of recent revelations by Wikileaks that the investment chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is likely to include ISDS provisions. The Australian government’s stance on ISDS has undergone…

The question of what constitutes an “arbitration” is unlikely to be one that arbitral practitioners have cause to ponder on a daily basis. In fact, such a question might appear at first to be purely theoretical or academic. A recent case (ASADA v 34 Players) from the Victorian Supreme Court in Australia, however, shows the…

This article is published as a result of the cooperation agreement between  Kluwer Arbitration Blog and ArbitralWomen.  The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and should not be regarded as representative of, or binding upon ArbitralWomen and/or the author’s law firm. In 2010 Australia amended its International Arbitration Act (Cth) 1974 (IAA)…

Indonesia is not the only Asia-Pacific nation that is reassessing investment treaties containing provisions on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS, especially arbitration). India announced a review in 2013, partly in the wake of the successful claim from an Australian mining investor, although the impact in practice is hard to discern or predict – especially under the…

Armada (Singapore) Pte Ltd (Under Judicial Management) v Gujarat NRE Coke Limited [2014] FCA 636 Justice Foster of the Federal Court of Australia handed down judgment on 17 June 2014 in an application for the enforcement of three foreign arbitral awards. The key issue for determination before the court was whether the applicant, Armada (Singapore)…

Authors: Geoff Hansen, Partner and Jennifer Galatas, Senior Associate1)The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Nuwan Dias in preparing this article. 1. Introduction – APRAG and Beyond On 27 to 28 March 2014, international dispute experts converged on Melbourne, Australia to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Regional Arbitration Group (APRAG) Conference. APRAG is…

The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia (the Court) recently upheld a decision enforcing an arbitral award made by three London arbitrators (Gujarat NRE Coke Limited v. Coeclerici Asia (Pte) Ltd [2013] FCAFC 109). The Court dismissed the appeal confirming that the arbitrators did not deny the appellants procedural fairness and did not…