The High Court of Australia has recently affirmed in the case of TCL Air Conditioner (Zhongshan) Co Ltd v The Judges of the Federal Court of Australia [2013] HCA 5 the constitutional validity of the International Commercial Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth) (the Act).

The Act enforces the United Nations International Commercial Arbitration (Model Law) which is designed to resolve international commercial disputes through arbitration, where both parties have agreed to use the Model Law.

The decision makes it clear that disputes arbitrated under the Model law will not be subject to review by the courts and are not in violation of Chapter III of the Australian Constitution.

In our January 2013 edition we noted that the Commercial Arbitration Bill 2012 (Qld) had been introduced to the Queensland Parliament. On 7 March 2013, the Queensland legislature passed the Bill which will take effect from a date to be fixed.