In Australia, the International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth) (IAA) governs international arbitral proceedings in Australia, and the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Australian courts. The New York and Washington Conventions, applicable to international commercial and investor-state arbitrations respectively, form part of the IAA, as does the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration.
Australian courts (and many Australian lawyers) are yet to grapple with an issue affecting the resolution of disputes by international commercial arbitration; namely, what is the governing law of the arbitration agreement when the parties do not expressly choose one?
In a recent judgment handed down on 15 June 2018, Croft J of the Victorian Supreme Court granted an application made under s 23 of the International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth) (Act) for the issue of subpoenas for the cross-examination of two persons not party to the arbitration proceedings.
In August 2018 the Supreme Court of South Australia dismissed an application for a permanent stay of proceedings on the ground that the parties were not subject to a binding agreement to arbitrate.
In November 2018 the High Court of Australia heard the matter of Rinehart v Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd, a case that is likely to have wide-reaching implications for the interpretation of arbitration agreements in Australia.