One of the changes brought in by the Arbitration Amendment Act 2016 was the substitution of “the appointed body” for the High Court in Article 11 of Schedule 1 of the Act. The appointed body was to be a suitably qualified body appointed by the Minister of Justice. On 2 March 2017, Hon Mark Mitchell, the Associate Minister of Justice, appointed AMINZ as that body.
In practical terms, this will mean that in those rare occasions where the parties agree to any disputes or disagreements being arbitrated, but fail to agree on their arbitral tribunal, AMINZ will make the appointment for them. Under the new AMINZ Appointment Process, before the appointment is made, the Executive Director or the President (as the case may be) will consult with members of the Appointments Panel to ensure that the best person is appointed for the dispute.
Appointing AMINZ to this role is important as it ensures that the best arbitrator determines the dispute on a robust and reasonably transparent basis (baring in mind the confidential nature of arbitration following the 2007 Amendment); and it also recognises the role that AMINZ plays in dispute resolution more generally.