The Singapore Convention on Mediation Program offers a dedicated platform for thought leadership on the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation.
The Singapore Convention on Mediation is a multilateral treaty which offers a legal framework facilitating the circulation of international mediated settlement agreements (iMSAs) across national borders. The Singapore Convention achieves this by elevating iMSAs to the status of a new type of legal instrument recognised in international law: neither a contract nor a consent arbitral award, iMSAs that fall within the scope of, and that satisfy the conditions within, the Singapore Convention enjoy a unique status. The new Convention establishes a system for the recognition and enforcement of commercial iMSAs.
The Singapore Convention is a game changer. It promises to leave a significant impact on international dispute resolution practices and, beyond that, on trade and investment flows. It has the capacity to enhance the attractiveness of mediation within regional initiatives, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, and to support the regulatory robustness of cross-border online dispute resolution (ODR) initiatives. This capacity will, in turn, enhance access to justice and the efficacy of dispute resolution for users across borders. From a user perspective, the Singapore Convention offers a risk management mechanism accessible in terms of its flexibility and affordability to cross-border business players, whether they are multi-national corporations, publically listed corporations, traditional incorporated limited entities, sole traders, or start-ups.
The opening ceremony for the Singapore Convention took place on 7 August 2019 in Singapore with a record forty-six countries signing on. Since then further countries have signed the Convention bringing the number to more than 50. The Singapore Convention will come into force six months after three jurisdictions have ratified it.
SIDRA is at the vanguard of research and international capacity building in this fast moving field. Here is a short introduction to some of our projects within the Singapore Convention on Mediation Program.
Our authoritative book and commentary on the Singapore Convention has received numerous accolades. It has been described as 'an essential book, very timely, immensely readable, a revelation'. Given the significant developments in the field our R&D team is already conducting research for the second edition, which will feature a deep analysis of legal issues related to ratification. It will examine issues such as the application of the Convention to international investment dispute and to trust arrangements, remedies under the Singapore Convention, the role mediator standards and ethics in setting aside iMSAs, and practical implications of the reservations. Readers will also find comprehensive updates on States that have signed and those that have ratified.
SIDRA recognises that the Singapore Convention will enjoy the greatest success where it builds on a robust mediation eco-system. To this end we work with government and industry stakeholders to build capacity in relation to regulatory and institutional systems that will support domestic and cross-border dispute resolution, in particular mediation. Deepening our work on Making Mediation Law, we are currently engaged in comparative research on the mediation eco-systems in civil and common law systems in Asia with a focus on China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, India, Philippines and Singapore.
Together with our partner, UNCITRAL, SIDRA will design and deliver a workshop on the Singapore Convention: application and implementation across legal systems. The workshop will be attended by a senior government officials from diverse countries. The workshop will be offered during Singapore Convention Week 2020.
SIDRA is collaborating with the Ministry of Law, Singapore, to prepare and curate the content for the Singapore Convention on Mediation website for 2020.