The compulsory conciliation and arbitration of the labor disputes was a peculiar construction by Australia, stemming from 1890’s industrial conflagration (maritime strikes and the shearing) and it constituted an integral element of the laborist trilogy of the early 20th century (that is, white Australian policy, protection by tariff, and the compulsory third party neutral adjunction of the industrial disputes (Fenwick, 2006).  The industrial regulation in Australia has undergone various phases since Federation in 1901, shaping the structure of government and borrowing concepts on international organizations and conventions. The ensuing segments look at the development of the conciliation and arbitration system in Australia, the influence of the ILR in this system and how it has influenced the structure, nature and formation of the current Australia Federal structure of government.

Development of the Conciliation and Arbitration System in Australia

Drawing from the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1894 of New Zealand, Charles Kingston introduced and drafted the Australians Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904 which was very controversial facing high opposition from the government of the time (Deakin government that believed the law is unconstitutional) (McCallum, 2006). The fallout between the advocates of the bill and the government lead to the fall of the government following the lack of labor support. The Australian Parliament passed this bill in 1904. It introduced a rule of law in the industrial relations in Australia where it established the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, which was mandated to arbitrate the labor disputes (Baker, 2004). The Act’s key objects aimed at preventing strikes and lockouts relating to industrial disputes, establish a court of conciliation, enable states to refer the industrial disputes to the Court and to provide for the making and enforcement of the employers-employee industrial agreements. The Act was amended in to cover the government employees.

Since the year 1993, the Federal government of Australia has used corporation power enshrined in Section 51 (20) of the Constitution to enact labor laws (Mitchell and Fetter, 2003). In 2005, John Howard, collation government announced its plan to use this power to override the systems of the state and unify the industrial rela…………………………………..

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