Arbitration in Australia—recognition and enforcement of foreign awards
Produced in partnership with Jo Delaney of HFW and Peter McQueen of Peter McQueen

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with Jo Delaney of HFW and Peter McQueen of Peter McQueen provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Arbitration in Australia—recognition and enforcement of foreign awards
  • Recognition and enforcement of foreign awards
  • Legislative scheme
  • Regard to objects of IAA 1974
  • Recognition and enforcement
  • Proof of award and of arbitration agreement
  • Grounds for refusal
  • Public policy
  • Pro-enforcement approach to foreign awards by Australian courts

Arbitration in Australia—recognition and enforcement of foreign awards

Recognition and enforcement of foreign awards

The International Arbitration Act 1974 (IAA 1974), which is the legislative regime governing international commercial arbitration in Australia, reflects pro-arbitration and pro-enforcement policies.

IAA 1974 implements the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (the New York Convention) without reservations.

Enforcement of foreign arbitration agreements and awards, are governed by IAA 1974, Pt II.

The Civil Law and Justice (Omnibus Amendments) Act 2015 amended IAA 1974, Pt II in respect of the enforcement of foreign arbitration agreements and awards. The amendment removed IAA 1974, s 8(4) which prevented the enforcement of arbitration awards made in countries that are not party to the New York Convention, unless the person seeking to enforce the award is domiciled or ordinarily resident in Australia or in a Convention country. This means that any arbitral award can be enforced in Australia, regardless of whether or not it is an award made under the New York Convention.

Further amendments were made to IAA 1974, s 8 in October 2018 by the Civil Law and Justice Legislation Amendment Act 2018 (Cth). The language in IAA 1974, s 8(1) and (5)(f) was amended to clarify that a foreign award is binding between the 'parties to the award' rather than the 'parties to the agreement pursuant to which the arbitration award

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