2 Oct 2018
Singapore Convention Published
Following approval of the final drafts for a Convention on the Enforcement of Mediation Settlements and accompanying Model Law at the 51st session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the Singapore Convention has now been published.
The Convention will be signed in Singapore on 1 August 2019 and will come into effect six months following ratification by at least three United Nations states.
The Convention can be viewed in full here: http://www.uncitral.org/pdf/english/commissionsessions/51st-session/Annex_I.pdf
The Convention excludes Consumer, Personal, Household, Family, Inheritance and Employment disputes from its jurisdiction.
It prescribes various procedural requirements for the underlying settlement agreement to qualify for enforcement and grounds for refusing to grant relief. These include the incapacity of the parties, invalidity of the settlement agreement, serious breach of mediator standards, mediator bias and public policy.
The initiative stems from a concern that the use of mediation to resolve international disputes has been impeded by the fact that, unless a settlement reached via mediation is in the context of a pending arbitration and can be converted into an arbitral award, parties can only enforce it in the same way as any other contract. In an international context, this can involve potentially difficult processes to obtain a court judgment and then enforce it in a foreign jurisdiction.
While problems with the enforcement of mediated settlements are rare, it is hoped such an enforcement regime will increase confidence in mediation among international litigants and further proliferate the well-established benefits of reducing cost and time spent in dispute.
Dr Karl Mackie CBE, CEDR Founder President comments:
“CEDR is currently working with the International Mediation Institute (IMI) to ensure that a full briefing about the Convention and its benefits is available to mediators, governments, corporate lawyers and business associations from all over the world, in order to encourage states to ratify the convention and for it to come in to effect as soon as possible.”