Introduction On 8 May 2019, the Arbitration Amendment Act 2019 (the Amendment Act) came into force.  It amends the Arbitration Act 1996 and is a much watered-down version of the original proposal.  The Amendment Act makes three changes: (i) the insertion of a new waiver sub-clause in Article 16 of Schedule 1 of the Arbitration Act (which…

Introduction: the Arbitration Amendment Act 2019 Arbitration law reform is often portrayed in terms of relentless progress towards enlightenment: towards greater party autonomy, increased efficiency, reduced judicial interference, and more certain enforcement. In important areas of arbitral law and practice, that is an accurate narrative: the acceptance of the principles of Kompetenz-Kompetenz and separability, for…

Last year was a busy one for arbitration practitioners in Australia and New Zealand, and 2019 looks set to be even busier. In 2018, both countries initiated a range of arbitration reforms, initiatives and negotiations which give insights into the likely general direction of travel for both countries in the coming year. This post focusses…

New Zealand now officially opposes investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), thanks to the election of a new centre-left Labour-led coalition government that took office in October 2017. In a post-Cabinet press conference on 31 October, Prime Minister Jacinda Adern announced that: “We remain determined to do our utmost to amend the ISDS provisions of TPP. In…

Last year I posted on the New Zealand High Court’s decision in Ngāti Hurungaterangi & Ors v Ngāti Wahiao [2016] NZHC 1486. The High Court rejected the plaintiffs’ claim that an arbitral award was inadequately reasoned and should be set aside. The Court described the panel’s reasoning as “undeniably sparse” but held by a “fine…

Judicature modernisation reforms, which passed through New Zealand’s Parliament in October, represent the most significant revamp of the country’s court system since the Judicature Act 1908. In addition to several changes to court structures and processes, the reforms made two modest amendments to New Zealand’s Arbitration Act 1996 (the Act). First, the definition of “arbitral…

Lawyers might sometimes wish for Solomonic justice; that parties would agree to “split the difference” or that someone would do it for them. Where, however, it appears that such an approach has been taken by an arbitral panel—in substitution for a carefully reasoned decision—the lack of engagement with their arguments is likely to leave the…

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…

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…

It is nearly a trite truism that New Zealanders are, in proportion to New Zealand’s size, over represented in international arbitration. A truism confirmed by John Beechy during an address at the AMINZ International Arbitration Day in Auckland on 18 February. The theme of the Day was how New Zealand could play a more prominent…