Challenging and appealing arbitral awards in Australia
Produced in partnership with Leon Chung (Partner) and Mitchell Dearness (Solicitor) of Herbert Smith Freehills
Challenging and appealing arbitral awards in Australia

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Leon Chung (Partner) and Mitchell Dearness (Solicitor) of Herbert Smith Freehills provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Challenging and appealing arbitral awards in Australia
  • The relevant legislative framework
  • Judicial attitudes to set-aside proceedings
  • Setting aside international arbitration awards
  • Setting aside or appealing domestic arbitration awards

This Practice Note considers challenges and appeals to international and domestic arbitral awards in Australia.

The relevant legislative framework

The International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth) (IA Act) governs foreign awards and any recourse available against them in Australia. The IA Act gives effect to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitration Awards (the New York Convention) and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the Model Law).

Domestic awards are regulated under uniform state-based legislation which applies in each state and territory. For the purposes of this Practice Note, all references will be made to the Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 (NSW) (the CA Act) which applies in New South Wales.

Given that the CA Act is based largely on the Model Law, decisions of Australian courts which relate to the IA Act may be relevant and applicable to the CA Act and vice versa.

Note: All Australian and other foreign court judgments referred to in this Practice Note are not reported by LexisNexis® UK.

Judicial attitudes to set-aside proceedings

Australian courts generally take a pro-recognition and enforcement approach to the determination of set-aside applications (see, for example, TCL Air Conditioner (Zhongshan) Company v Castel Electronics [2014] FCAFC 83, Uganda Telecom v Hi Tech Telecom [2011] FCA 131 and