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International Investment Law

Australian Domestic Legislation - Foreign Investment & Dispute Settlement

The International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth) is the Australian Commonwealth Act applicable to international commercial arbitration, including investment arbitration.* The Act gives effect to the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (The ICSID Convention - incorporated into the Act as Schedule 3), and the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (incorporated into the Act as Schedule 2).

Arbitral awards are binding on the parties to the dispute and not subject to appeal on substantive grounds (Schedule 3, Article 53(1)). The remedies provided for are revision (Article 51) and annulment (Article 52). In addition, a party may ask a Tribunal which omitted to decide any question submitted to it, to supplement its award (Article 49(2)) and may request interpretation of the award (Article 50).

State / Territory Supreme Courts and the Federal Court have jurisdiction to execute and enforce arbitral awards (s 35 and Schedule 3 Article 54). However, this presents a problem for enforcement because Schedule 3 Article 55 preserves the immunity of foreign States from execution. See also the Foreign States Immunities Act 1985 (Cth) s 30.

Source: Malcolm Holmes & Chester Brown, The International Arbitration Act 1974 : A Commentary (CCH, 2018)

*Note that the Australian State and Territory Commercial Arbitration Acts apply only to domestic commercial arbitration, not international.

Finding Domestic Legislation on investor state dispute settlement in multiple countries

Most countries have enacted laws governing foreign investments. Such laws typically include procedures for settling disputes - often designating a forum for dispute resolution.   

To find domestic Investor State Dispute Settlement legislation in multiple countries, use the below databases.​​​​​

WARNING - while the below databases are a handy way to identify relevant laws in multiple jurisdictions, always then go to the legislation provided by official government websites to ensure currency.