On November 17, 2011, the Commercial Arbitration Act 2011 (CAA) was enacted in Victoria, Australia to become the State of Victoria's guiding law on domestic arbitration. The Act, based on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRL) Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (Model Law) and supplemented to more accurately apply to domestic commercial arbitration, was enacted to replace the existing Commercial Arbitration Act 1984 (1984 Act). The goal of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General in encouraging the passage of the new law was to align domestic arbitration laws with international arbitration laws to make Australia the center of commerciual arbitration in the Asia-Pacific region. The CAA was also created to make Victoria's commercial arbitration laws consistent with similar laws previously passed in New South Wales and Tasmania furthering the national trend towards creating a unified domestic arbitration scheme. This article discusses how the CAA has amended the prior Australian domestic atbitration law to align with the current best practices, the path the Act took towards enactment, and how the changes to Australian domestic arbitration law will affect how lawyers represent their clients.
Laura Mangotta, The Commercial Arbitration Act of 2011: Australia's Attempt at Arbitration Eminence, 4 225 (2012).