Australia as an arbitration-friendly country: The tension between party autonomy and finality

Louise Parsons, Jack Leonard

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The landmark decision of the High Court of Australia in the recent case of TCL Air Conditioner (Zhongshan) Co Ltd v The Judges of the Federal Court of Australia [2013] HCA 5 reinforced the importance of the principle of party autonomy in international commercial arbitration in Australia. The case was highly acclaimed as a case that confirmed Australia as an “arbitration-friendly” country. This article examines the tension between the interest in finality and enforcement of arbitral awards, and the interest in a quality award. The first interest would generally argue against contractual expansion of judicial review clauses in the arbitration agreement; by contrast the second interest would support a contractual mechanism for the review of arbitral awards and contractually expanded judicial review clauses. By enforcing contractually expanded judicial review clauses, the interests of the “winner” (with an interest in finality and enforcement) and the shared interests of both parties in a quality award (irrespective of them being winner or loser) will be protected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-387
Number of pages31
JournalContemporary Asia Arbitration Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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