Why PCERA

Innovation

T
here is demand for innovative mechanisms for resolving disputes. Court action is expensive, both in terms of legal costs and unproductive effort. Delays in resolving disputes can add to the costs. Payment may be outstanding for long periods. The efforts of executives and staff may be distracted by a long running dispute. It is also difficult to plan when there is uncertainty.

 

PCERA offers innovative procedures for the resolution of disputes in two main respects:

 

First, it has developed a set of arbitration principles to be applied by committed and highly qualified and approved arbitrators, drawn from a variety of fields, to produce efficient fast-track arbitration outcomes. The principles require a date for hearing to be set at an early stage of the process. Hearing time is limited so as to require the parties to focus on what is important. The procedure is designed to remove all steps that are time consuming and expensive, but add very little to a robust assessment of the merits of the case.

 

Second, PCERA provides a new model for expert determination called Collaborative Expert Resolution. This process involves an independent expert being appointed for each party to undertake an independent informal assessment of the merits of the case. The experts then meet and reach consensus, through a collaborative process, as to the resolution of the dispute on the merits. The assessment may be undertaken on a binding or non-binding basis. The outcome is a form of expert determination process in which the parties can work closely with the assessor appointed to consider their case, ensuring the merits of the case are addressed.

Expertise

S
tanding behind PCERA are leading members of the Australian legal community who practice in the fields of arbitration and energy and resources. The directors of PCERA share a commitment to seeing a forum for dispute resolution that recognises the intricacies of the energy and resources sectors and provides tailored services accordingly.

 

PCERA is committed to ongoing development of its dispute resolution processes through research and an annual conference of its members. PCERA also has a collaborative arrangement with the University of Western Australia. It arranges education events and forums for discussion of issues and recent developments in the field of dispute resolution. These activities are directed towards ensuring continuous improvement and innovation.

 

PCERA has identified a number of arbitrators with established expertise of relevance to disputes in the energy and resources sectors. These individuals are committed to doing things the PCERA way by reference to the PCERA Arbitration Principles. The Principles are stated in a living document subject to ongoing review and development.

 

An outstanding feature of the capability of PCERA arises by reason of the strength of its Advisory Committee. Members of the Committee are leaders of the international arbitration community. The Board of PCERA can seek the assistance of the Advisory Committee on matters of appointment, conflicts, and with regard to best practice in international arbitration.

Convenience

W
estern Australia, in one way or another, has been at the forefront of development in the energy and resources industries for more than 50 years. In fact, the history of the State’s mineral development goes back to the gold rushes of the late 19th century. By reason of its history, and in view of the dominant industries in the State, professional service providers are especially skilled and highly experienced in matters within the energy and resources sectors.

 

Perth is in the same time zone as, and is a short flight from, much of Asia.

 

Western Australia, like the Commonwealth of Australia, has a legislative regime that is supportive of arbitration. In addition, the Supreme Court of Western Australia has established a dedicated list to support the resolution of disputes by arbitration. Perth’s reputation for stability, security, and its amenities, renders it an ideal arbitral place.

 

PCERA provides the logistical services and support to carry out arbitrations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Efficiency

T
here is demand for an arbitral institution for Western Australia and the region, and new innovative mechanisms that are tailored to resolve disputes in the energy and resources sectors.

 

It is generally accepted that long-running and public litigation is not the most effective or efficient way to resolve complex energy and resources disputes involving contractual provisions of significant commercial sensitivity. Court procedures can be inflexible and the judge allocated to determine the matter may have little—or even no—practical experience with the class of contract, project, or commodity in question. Court proceedings can involve a significant amount of delay in terms of pre-trial procedures, the trial itself, the consequences of pressures of work on a judiciary that is operating at capacity, and the almost inevitable appeal process.

 

In short, the one-size-fits-all approach of litigation does not always meet the commercial needs or objectives of the sophisticated and international parties to energy and resources disputes. PCERA offers industry participants and their advisors a fresh, innovative, and specialised alternative.
The Secretariat
Address: PO Box C122, Perth, WA 6839
Telephone: +61 (0)8 9220 0588
Email: thesecretary@pcera.org