King & Wood Mallesons advises on Australian High Court arbitration case

King & Wood Mallesons has announced that the High Court has confirmed the constitutionality of Australia’s arbitration framework for resolving international disputes.

The dispute in the High Court proceeding concerned the way in which arbitration awards are recognised and enforced in Australia. The proceeding arose from a dispute under a distribution agreement between China-based TCL Air Conditioner (Zhongshan) and Castel Electronics, which provided for the submission of disputes to arbitration.

The High Court decision is the first to consider the 2011 amendments to the International Arbitration Action 1974. The High Court unanimously dismissed TCL’s appeal and awarded costs against it, finding that there was no merit to a constitutional challenge to the recognition and enforcement procedures for arbitral awards under the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, which are incorporated by Australia’s International Arbitration Act.

King & Wood Mallesons acted on behalf of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Australia), which intervened in the proceedings and prepared a joint submission to the High Court.