A detailed overview of commercial arbitration Singapore

by Julia Geiser

Commercial arbitration is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution that the parties decide upon in a commercial dispute. It enables you to present your case to a private arbitrator for evaluation instead of a judge.

With 1080 new case submissions in 2020, Singapore International Arbitration Centre set a new record, more than tripling its caseload from the previous year. SIAC’s workload has now surpassed 1000 cases for the first time in its history.

In Singapore, the arbitration process is governed by two independent legal regimes:

The domestic regime, which the Arbitration Act constrains and concerns arbitrations conducted under domestic arbitration agreements, and the international regime, which is guided either by International Arbitration Act and concerns arbitrations conducted under international arbitration agreements.

commercial arbitration singapore

The Arbitration Ordinance, which went into effect in 1953, was the first domestic law controlling arbitration. It was modeled on the 1950 Arbitration Act of the United Kingdom. The Arbitration Ordinance of 1953 was changed several times until being replaced by the Arbitration Act of 1985. (1985 Act). The AA, which took effect on March 1, 2002, abolished the 1985 Act.

If the following conditions are met, an arbitration is termed “international.”

At the time the arbitration agreement was signed, at least one of the parties had a place of business in a state other than Singapore;

the agreed chair of the arbitration is located outside the state wherein the parties have their business premises;

any place in which a substantial part of the commercial arbitration singapore relationship’s obligation is to be conducted, or the location to which the actual content of the disagreement is most closely connected, is located outside the state wherein the parties have one‘s place of business.

 When there is a three-arbitrator arbitration, the IAA establishes a default position for appointing arbitrators. The IAA’s current default position is that each side appoints one arbitrator, and both parties choose the third arbitrator by agreement. 29 However, the IAA’s present default mode only applies to disputes between two parties (the claimant and the respondent), and it does not address cases involving many parties. The 2020 Amendment Bill was introduced to address the possibility of a deadlock in multi-party arbitrations if there are more than two parties in dispute and no agreement on arbitrator appointment procedures.

 The arbitral tribunal must make decisions by a majority vote. 31 When the parties agree with an actual arbitration process and aren’t guaranteed a majority judgment, they must also agree on how deadlocks would be resolved. In the event of a deadlock, the presiding arbitrator does have the right to decide the procedure.

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