THE AUSTRALIA INDONESIA CONTRACT MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK

Address by the Hon Tim Fischer MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister For Trade for the LAUNCH OF THE AUSTRALIA-INDONESIA CONTRACT MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK, AT THE Third Australia Indonesia Ministerial Forum, Jakarta, 24 October 1996

I am very pleased to have this opportunity this afternoon to make an announcement concerning the growing cooperation between Australia and Indonesia in the legal field.

First, I am pleased to launch the Australian Indonesia Contract Management Handbook ; second I am also pleased to announce the start of the Australia Indonesia Legal Materials Exchange Program. The Minister of Justice of Indonesia His Excellency Otejo Oesman (OO-TOY-O OOZ-MUNN) has kindly agreed to join with me today in exchanging the first items under the program.

The Australia Indonesia Contract Management Handbook has been prepared by the International Legal Services Advisory Council (or ILSAC) under the chairmanship of Sir Laurence Street.

In recent years, growing trade and investment between Australia and Indonesia has led lawyers in both countries to look more closely at how contracts can be better managed to minimise commercial disputes.

With this issue in mind, Mr David Bailey of ILSAC met a little over a year ago with interested parties in Indonesia, including Mr Suhadibroto (SOO- HUDDY- BROTO) of the Indonesian Attorney-General's Office Mr Saleh Baharis (SALL-EH BA-HA-RISS) of the Department of Justice, and Professors Gautama (GOWTAMA) and Abdulrassyd (ABDUL RASHID).

Together they canvassed how Australia and Indonesia could make the management of commercial contracts between Australian and Indonesian businesses more effective. They examined how to help Australian and Indonesian exporters and investors become better informed about dispute resolution processes in each country.

This resulted in a decision to produce a collaborative study into contract management and dispute resolution as a practical step toward building on our trading relations.

The study's terms of reference were to improve understanding in both countries of Australian and Indonesian laws, regulations, procedures and practices in relation to cross-border commercial contracts.

There is, these days, an increasingly high level of interaction between the Australian and Indonesian business and legal fraternities. Better knowledge and understanding of the laws and procedures of commercial dispute avoidance and resolution is therefore in the interests of the business and trading communities in both countries.

This Handbook is a positive beginning to the task of clarifying and raising awareness of these issues. It will be useful for all businesspeople trading and investing in Australia and Indonesia as well as specialists in the field.

Designed as a convenient reference guide, the Handbook brings together a variety of materials including:

- an outline of dispute resolution processes in each country at a curial, arbitral and informal level;

- a description of the institutions and facilities available for dispute resolution in both countries; and

- a list of sample clauses that may be appropriate in cross-border contracts.

- jurisprudential and cultural issues which can have an impact on commercial dispute avoidance and commercial dispute resolution.

I want to thank sincerely all those who contributed to the compilation of the Handbook, including Mr Suhadibroto, Mr Saleh Baharis, Professor Gautama of the University of Indonesia and the President of the Indonesian National Board of Arbitration, Professor Priytna Abdurrasyid. I would also like to thank the Australian and Indonesian commercial lawyers who contributed to this project.

Mr David Bailey of ILSAC coordinated the project, and he has done a remarkable job. I understand that ILSAC members contribute substantial expertise and time to projects such as this on a voluntary basis.

ILSAC's efforts to help develop Australia's involvement in international legal cooperation activities in the Asia-Pacific region, and to look at the links between these activities and Australia's trade and investment objectives, are laudable.

ILSAC, and Mr Bailey in particular, are to be commended for their fine work. Today's launch is a tribute to their efforts.

I understand that the publication will now be available in English at minimal cost. I understand also that ILSAC is presently considering a proposal to publish an edition of the Handbook in Bahasa Indonesia. That, I think, is a terrific idea.

After this ceremony Mr Bailey will be available to discuss the contents of the Handbook in more detail and answer any questions you may have.

The Australia Indonesia Exchange of Legal Materials Program is a program undertaken by the Attorney Generals Department of Australia and the Department of Justice of Indonesia with funding assistance provided by the Australia Indonesia Institute.

The central objective of the Program is to promote the relationship between our countries in the field of law and legal cooperation. The program will assist in familiarising each country with the commercial, corporate and financial environment of the other, as part of the broader picture of increased trade and investment between the two countries.

On behalf of the Asian Law Centre, the University of Melbourne Law Library will catalogue and house the legal materials sent to Australia from Indonesia. The Department of Justice has agreed to be the repository of legal exchange materials sent to Indonesia from Australia.

Your Excellency it is a great pleasure for me to announce the commencement of the Australia Indonesia Exchange of Legal Materials Program and hand to you the first items of the Program.

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