Singapore - Arbitration Law and Practice in Asia - Second Edition
I. INTRODUCTION: ARBITRATION IN SINGAPORE – HISTORY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
A. History and Current Legislation on Arbitration
1. Historical evolution of law relating to arbitration
The history of arbitration in Singapore dates back to its early days as a colony of the British Empire. Legislative and judicial records indicate that since the nineteenth century, arbitration has been practised and regulated within the Straits Settlements, of which Singapore was then a part.
Since gaining independence in 1965, Singapore has continued to embrace the practice of arbitration. For example, Singapore acceded to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention”) on 21 August 1986, with the reservation that it will apply the New York Convention only to arbitral awards made in the territory of another contracting State. It ratified the Washington Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the “Washington Convention”) on 24 October 1968.
The impetus to promote arbitration in Singapore really took off in the 1990s when the Singapore government undertook a concerted effort to promote Singapore as a centre for international arbitration. For example, it took the lead in establishing the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (the “SIAC”) in 1991 as Singapore’s principal arbitral institution.