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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