An internationalist approach to interpreting private international law? Arbitration and sales law in Australia

Andrea Anastasi, Benjamin Hayward, Stephanie Peta Brown

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Important aspects of Australia’s private international law — including its international commercial arbitration and international sales laws — have international origins. The instruments underlying these laws rely upon uniform interpretation to fulfil their trade promotion purposes. Yet Australia does not always fulfil its part of this bargain: internationally minded interpretations of these instruments’ local implementations are not always evident in the case law. This article analyses the interpretative rules governing Australia’s international commercial arbitration and international sales laws, identifying a legal requirement of internationalist interpretation. It assesses the extent to which their interpretations by Australian courts live up to this standard, demonstrating improvements over time in the case of arbitration law but ongoing deficiencies in the sales law field. As a result, recommendations are made as to how the reasoning of Australian courts in international sales cases can be improved. These recommendations are ultimately directed at aiding Australian merchants and their trading partners, the intended beneficiaries of these laws.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-54
Number of pages54
JournalMelbourne University Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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