Foreign Arbitration Agreements in Australian Voyage Charterparties Void

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In a recent decision the Federal Court of Australia held that foreign arbitration agreements in voyage charterparties for the carriage of goods from Australia are void. As a result, the Court refused to enforce two London arbitration awards issued in respect of disputes arising under the relevant voyage charterparty.

Owners and charterers of vessels carrying cargo from Australia under voyage charterparties or contracts of affreightment need to reconsider their dispute resolution clauses and consider jurisdiction before bringing any arbitration proceedings under them.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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