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Lighthouse - May, 2018.

Understanding an Arbitration process, and its Scope in Singapore

Singapore is today one of the most illustrious and renowned seats of Arbitration because of the well-developed infrastructure, modern national legislation, and a strong position as a financial and commercial centre in Asia. Singapore has a wide spectrum of efficient arbitrators from across the globe ranging from seasonal dispute resolution generalists to highly specialized practitioners and expertise covering the entire legal and technical area of intellectual property. The Courts of Singapore is famous for its integrity, cost-efficiency, neutrality, competency and impartiality and also offer a high level of support for arbitration with minimum intervention. Moreover Singapore has many renowned local and overseas law firms and professionals who expertise in arbitration.

The obsequious nature of the people of Singapore towards the legal system is a notable factor. Singapore also welcomes foreign arbitrators and allows them to arbitrate in Singapore without a work permit and without withholding tax. According to the Singapore laws only a Singapore qualified lawyer from Singapore law practice can appear before the High Court for International arbitration related matters even though the original contract which was the subject matter of the arbitration may have been governed by a foreign law. Singapore also ensures that the arbitration legislation is kept responsive to the global legal and commercial developments. A recent study shows that Singapore is challenging the established centres of arbitration like London, Paris and Stockholm. Another factor that favours Singapore is its geographically convenient location and this makes it a neutral venue for parties from different parts of the globe.

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) the Model Law recognizes the incorporation and the enforcement of the arbitral award provisions by giving effect to the New York Convention of 1958 within its ambit. As Singapore is a signatory to the 1958 New York Convention, the Arbitral awards issued in Singapore are enforceable in over 150 UN Member states, and also in certain Commonwealth jurisdictions under the Reciprocal Enforcement of Commonwealth Judgement Act. The Awards are final and binding in nature and have no right of an appeal. In fact if parties to an arbitration can appeal it defeats the sole purpose or “raison d’etre” of arbitration.

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