29 September 2020

On 12 September 2020, the Singapore International Mediation Centre (“SIMC”) and the Japan International Mediation Center (“JIMC”) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to operate a joint protocol that provides cross-border businesses, including companies along the Singapore-Japan corridor, with an economical, expedited and effective route for resolving commercial disputes amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The JIMC-SIMC Joint Covid-19 Protocol is believed to be the first joint mediation protocol between two international dispute resolution centres in relation to the provision of expedited mediation during the pandemic. It is SIMC’s first such collaboration with an overseas mediation centre, following the SIMC Covid-19 Protocol which was launched in May 2020. The Joint Covid-19 Protocol is expected to be formally launched on 20 November 2020.

Some of the key features of the Joint Protocol are as follows:

  • Mediations may be filed at either JIMC or SIMC online
  • Mediations will be jointly managed by JIMC and SIMC
  • Cases will be resolved by two mediators (one nominated by each centre) to facilitate cross-border settlement
  • Parties will enjoy fixed and reduced fees adapted for the Japanese market. The Joint Protocol includes a fee schedule
  • Mediation can be conducted online to overcome the current limitations on travel
  • Settlement agreements may be enforced under the Singapore Convention on Mediation in countries that have ratified or approved the Convention, including Singapore

Reference materials

The following materials are available from the SIMC website www.simc.com.sg: