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22 Mar 2010

Sydney to launch an international dispute resolution centre

The Australian International Disputes Centre will house Australia's premier international dispute resolution institutions and organisations including the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Australia Commercial Disputes Centre.

The number of international arbitrations conducted in Sydney is expected to boom with the announcement by the Federal and NSW Attorneys-General of the establishment of the Australian International Disputes Centre (AIDC), Australia's first international dispute resolution centre.

The number of international arbitrations conducted within Asia has increased dramatically in recent years and the AIDC is Australia's answer to the increasing demand for services around all types and forms of international dispute resolution processes, including international arbitration. Professor Doug Jones, the head of Clayton Utz' International Arbitration Practice, said that "the explosion in arbitration is largely due to the fact that international investors want to avoid the uncertainty of litigation in a foreign court system with the associated lack of familiarity over processes."

The Centre will open in mid-2010 at 1 Castlereagh Street in the Sydney CBD. It will feature world-class communication, audiovisual and video-conferencing facilities, tribunal facilities, conference rooms and access to translation and transcription services.

According to Commonwealth Attorney-General Robert McClelland who spoke at the launch held at Clayton Utz, "Australia is well placed to capitalise on the booming global market for cross-border dispute resolution". The establishment of the AIDC will help Australia attract more international arbitrations to our shores.

He also said that the opening of the Centre, coupled with the ongoing reforms to Australia's arbitration laws, at both a State and Federal level, will provide disputing parties with a world-class destination with best-practice local laws to resolve their disputes quickly and fairly.

Australia enjoys close ties to Asia and has a stable and robust economic, political and legal environments. However, before the establishment of the AIDC, Australia had been lacking the specialised infrastructure to attract disputes away from countries like Singapore, which recently established a dedicated international dispute resolution centre. This will no longer be the case once the AIDC opens its doors mid-year.

AIDC will house Australia's premier international dispute resolution institutions and organisations including the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Australia Commercial Disputes Centre (ACDC).

Parties, practitioners and arbitrators making use of the AIDC will receive fast and efficient administrative and logistical support that will ensure that the dispute resolution proceedings run effortlessly. Integration between the AIDC and the organisational tenants will give users an unparalleled experience in dispute resolution support.

The Centre is to be jointly funded by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments, ACICA and ACDC.

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.