Singapore - National Report - World Arbitration Reporter (WAR) - 2nd Edition
Nicholas Song is a member of both the International Dispute Resolution and the Energy Transactions practice groups of Vinson & Elkins LLP. He has advised on both contentious and non-contentious international energy matters. Before joining V&E, Mr. Song was a litigator in a prominent Singapore law firm. He received his LL.B. (Hons) from the National University of Singapore, his LL.M. in International Legal Studies from the New York University School of Law as a Hauser Global Scholar, and his LL.M. in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution (Distinction) from Queen Mary, University of London as a British Chevening Scholar.
Originally from World Arbitration Reporter (WAR) - 2nd 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. The SIAC is now a company limited by guarantee, whose sole member is the Singapore Business Federation. On 31 October 1994, Singapore adopted the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the “Model Law”) when it enacted the International Arbitration Act (Cap 143A, 2002 Rev Ed).