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The Australian National University

Pro-Arbitration Policy in the Australian Courts โ€” The End of Eisenwerk?

Benjamin Hayward (2013) 41 (2)

International arbitration is an important area of federal jurisdiction and federal legislative competence, and has attracted significant policy attention in Australia. This paper undertakes a study of pro-arbitration judicial policy in recent arbitration-related Australian case law which touches upon the continuing applicability of the controversial 1999 Eisenwerk decision of the Queensland Court of Appeal. Against this pro-arbitration judicial policy context, this paper reviews five Eisenwerk-related cases handed down between 2010 and 2012. It concludes that despite pro-arbitration judicial policy being embedded as a requirement of reasoning in decisions under the International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth), there is mixed evidence of such policy in the cases surveyed. This paper concludes that the extent to which this policy is evidenced largely corresponds with the degree to which contemporary decisions have departed from Eisenwerk.

Vol 41, Issue 2, 2013

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