Mediation Developments in Singapore

Singapore, the Lion City, has also been called the crossroads of East and West. In recent years, these crossroads have given Singapore the platform to build on its aspiration to be a global dispute resolution hub, offering a suite of dispute resolution services, with the Singapore International Commercial Courts (SICC) providing court-based litigation, Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) providing arbitration services, and Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) and Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) providing mediation services.

This complete suite of dispute resolution services has been called the “tripartite approach,” with each of the institutions providing access to an international pool of jurists and practitioners as follows:

  • For court-based litigation, SICC provides specialist commercial judges from Singapore and international judges from both civil law and common law traditions
  • For arbitration services, SIAC provides a panel of international arbitrators
  • For mediation services, SIMC provides a panel of international mediators and technical experts, and SMC provides panels of mediators, neutral evaluators and adjudicators

Singapore Mediation Convention

Singapore’s aspiration to be a global dispute resolution hub has been further cemented with UNCITRAL’s approval of the Convention on the Enforcement of International Settlement Agreements and corresponding Model Law, named the “Singapore Mediation Convention.” The Singapore Mediation Convention is the culmination of three years of the UNCITRAL Working Group II’s efforts, supported by the participation of 85 member states and 35 international governmental and non-governmental organizations.

The Singapore Mediation Convention will enhance the status of mediated settlement agreements by enabling parties, when the relevant criteria are met, to enforce such agreements in a signatory state. There will not be a necessity for the non-defaulting party to commence de novo proceedings on the mediated settlement agreement.

This is the panacea for the enforceability of mediated settlement agreements, long sought by the mediation community worldwide. Mediators in Singapore join the international mediation community in keenly awaiting the Singapore Mediation Convention.

By Tat Lim, Senior Fellow-Singapore, Weinstein International Foundation

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