Singapore - Part M - Arbitration in Asia - 2nd Edition
Michael Hwang, S.C. currently practises as an international arbitrator and mediator based in Singapore. He sits as arbitrator in domestic and international disputes, including investment treaty disputes and sports arbitrations, under a wide variety of arbitral rules. He was the Chief Justice of the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts from 2010 to 2018 (having served as Deputy Chief Justice since 2005). His other past appointments include: Vice Chairman of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, Vice President of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, Court Member of the London Court of International Arbitration, panel member on the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes Panel, and Trustee of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre. He has also served as a United Nations Compensation Commissioner, Vice-Chair of the International Bar Association’s Arbitration Committee, as well as Council Member of International Council of Arbitration for Sport. He has been Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to Switzerland and Argentina, a Judicial Commissioner (fixed-term High Court Judge) of the Supreme Court of Singapore, and President of the Law Society of Singapore. He was educated at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at Oxford University, and has been conferred an Honorary LLD by the University of Sydney.
Andrew Chan is a Partner in Litigation & Dispute Resolution at Allen & Gledhill LLP. He is a specialist in dispute resolution (especially arbitration), trusts, and insolvency. In arbitration, he has acted as Counsel, Arbitrator and Expert on Singapore law. He is a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators (as well as being on its panel of tutors), a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a Director of the Singapore incorporated American Arbitration Association-ICDR Ltd. Mr. Chan is on several arbitration panels. He is an author and editor of several legal texts and has written over seventy articles covering many areas of the law and has contributed to various publications.
Ramesh Selvaraj is a Partner in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution department of Allen & Gledhill LLP and is the Co-Deputy Head of the Firm’s International Arbitration Practice. He has experience in a wide range of commercial disputes and has a keen interest in international arbitration. He is a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators as well as an accredited mediator with the Singapore Mediation Centre. He is also presently the Co-Chair of the Young Singapore International Arbitration Centre Committee formed under the auspices of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.
Originally from Arbitration in Asia - 2nd Edition
Singapore was founded in 1819 as part of the Straits Settlements (comprising Penang, Malacca, and Singapore), but it was only after 1826 that a court system was set up throughout the Straits Settlements. However, case law from as early as 1839 indicates that arbitration was well alive in the early years of the Straits Settlements. For example, in Ponachee VJB Westerhout and The East India Company, the Straits Settlements Supreme Court refused an application to set aside an award.
In 1890, an Arbitration Ordinance was enacted in the Straits Settlements. This Ordinance, which has an interesting legislative history, was replaced by another Arbitration Ordinance in 1953. The Arbitration Ordinance of 1953 was renamed the Arbitration Act in independent Singapore. On 1 March 2002, a new Arbitration Act, which replaced the previous Arbitration Act, came into force. For the purposes of this Singapore chapter, the previous Arbitration Act shall be referred to as the "old Arbitration Act" (or "old AA") and the present Arbitration Act as the "Arbitration Act" (or "AA").
The Arbitration Ordinance and, later, the old AA, drew little distinction between international and domestic arbitrations. In 1986, following Singapore’s accession to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (the "New York Convention"), the Arbitration (Foreign Awards) Act was enacted in Singapore. Although this Act drew a greater degree of distinction between international and domestic arbitrations, it did not provide an independent regime for the conduct of arbitrations in Singapore involving foreign parties or elements. This is because the Arbitration (Foreign Awards) Act was principally concerned with the enforcement of arbitral awards made in New York Convention countries (and the stay of court proceedings pending arbitration). The old AA continued to apply generally to other matters.