30 August 2021
On 17 July 2021, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and Edwin Tong SC, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law, delivered speeches at the India-Singapore Mediation Summit.
Among other things, the speeches highlighted the following points:
- The India-Singapore economic corridor is fast growing and an extremely important one in Asia and in the world. Singapore was the biggest contributor to foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into India from April 2020 to March 2021. Indian companies today form the largest overseas contingent that have invested in Singapore. As Indian businesses and companies became more international, and deal with business partners from around the world, it will be natural, and perhaps even inevitable and necessary, to extend mediation to international commercial disputes. There is therefore impetus for closer collaboration on mediation.
- The Covid-19 Mediation Protocol will be further enhanced after the Singapore International Mediation Centre (“SIMC”) and India’s CAMP Arbitration and Mediation Services sign a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on a Joint Covid-19 Protocol (“Protocol”). Under this Protocol, one co-mediator is selected from SIMC’s panel of mediators, and another co-mediator from CAMP’s panel of mediators. These mediators are familiar with each country’s different legal regimes and different cultural contexts. Filing fees will be reduced as businesses are already facing tremendous financial difficulties and pressure because of Covid-19. Mediation will be conducted online or perhaps in a hybrid form, to overcome the current limitations on travel.
- The Singapore Convention on Mediation which facilitates the enforcement of mediated settlement agreements in international commercial disputes, offers the much needed assurance to parties that their mediated agreements can be enforced across several jurisdictions. So far, 54 countries including China, India and the US have signed the Convention, and six countries have gone on to ratify the Convention. The Singapore Convention is poised to alter the future of mediation, globally, and assist greatly in the resolution of cross-border disputes.