Important COVID-19 Update

x

These are certainly challenging times for us all.

We are committed to doing everything we can to prioritise the wellbeing of our people, those who use our services and their representatives and the communities we serve to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday, our people will begin working remotely from today, Monday 23 March.

Having well developed online dispute resolution options, it will in many ways be business as usual for us as we focus on providing a seamless service, regardless of where our Registry staff, arbitrators, mediators and other dispute resolution practitioners are working.

We know you are working through similar challenges to ours and that these are uncertain times for everyone. From all of us here we send our thoughts to you, your teams and families.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance to you and we will keep you informed with any further updates.

Congratulations to the Independent State of Papua New Guinea (PNG) which, on 17 July 2019, became the 160th state to accede to the New York Convention.

NZIAC was delighted to be a development partner for the Second South Pacific International Arbitration Conference which was organised by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in conjunction with the PNG Government and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) earlier this year. It was during this conference that the PNG Government announced its intention to accede to the New York Convention.

The New York Convention was adopted on 10 June 1958 and entered into force on 7 June 1959. With (now) 160 states which are parties to the Convention, it is widely acclaimed as the most successful instrument in private international law.

Despite the widely enunciated benefits of arbitration as a process to resolve international commercial disputes and the success of the New York Convention to date, the potential of international commercial arbitration in the Trans-Pacific Region remains relatively untapped. The rate of adoption of the New York Convention across the Trans-Pacific Region to date is relatively low, although active steps are being taken by organisations such as the ADB and UNCITRAL to specifically promote adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law and international arbitration within the Pacific (in this respect reference is made to Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia). At present, there are only four Pacific States (PNG, Fiji, the Marshal Islands, and the Cook Islands) which are parties to the New York Convention.

There is some way to go before arbitration might reach its true potential but we believe it has a promising future across the region and warmly welcome PNG.


Above (left to right): Khory McCormick, John Green, Justice Ambeng Kandakasi, Daniel Meltz, Catherine Green at the South Pacific International Arbitration Conference in Port Moresby