New York Convention Roadshow in Singapore

18 - 19 July 2019

Report written by Fedelma C. Smith


The Singapore New York Convention Roadshow was held at the Supreme Court of Singapore on 18 and 19 July 2019, hosted by the Singapore Judicial College.  Opening the event, Senior Counsel Foo Chee Hock, Dean of the Singapore Judicial College, welcomed judges from Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam.  


As well as engaging in an immersive introduction to each provision of the New York Convention and judicial decisions interpreting and applying the key principles of the Convention from jurisdictions across the world, the colloquium showcased recent jurisprudence from Singapore and the ASEAN region, highlighting the emergence of a pro-arbitration judicial policy.  The colloquium began with a wide-angle introduction to the field of international arbitration, with case examples from some of the world’s oldest arbitration institutions, an introduction to the work of UNCITRAL, and a consideration of the special features of arbitral practice in the ASEAN region.  The UNCITRAL Model Law is the basis of the national arbitration laws of Cambodia (Commercial Arbitration Law 2006), Myanmar (Arbitration Law 2016), the Philippines (Alternative Dispute Resolution Act 2004), Singapore (International Arbitration Act 2012), and Thailand (Arbitration Act 2002), while non-Model Law countries in the region include Indonesia (Law on Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution 1999) and Vietnam (Law on Commercial Arbitration 2010).


Sessions dedicated to the arbitration agreement and the organization of arbitration proceedings included a consideration of the salient details of the arbitration rules of institutions in the region, including the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC), the Badan Arbitrase Nasional Indonesia (BANI), the Philippines Dispute Resolution Centre, Inc. (PDRCI), the Thai Arbitration Centre (THAC), and the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC). 


The Roadshow continued on the second day with an in-depth, article-by-article analysis of the New York Convention, which was richly illustrated with presentations on current Singapore law on enforcement of arbitral awards and on issues specific to ASEAN jurisdictions, with specific focus on Singapore, highlighting recent judicial decisions on key issues relating to arbitrability and public policy.  The event concluded with a fully interactive discussion of questions arising during the colloquium.


The Singapore New York Convention Roadshow 2019 was led by Judge Dominique Hascher (French Supreme Court) with Fedelma C. Smith (Permanent Court of Arbitration - Singapore Office), Foo Yuet Min (Drew & Napier, Singapore), Simon Dunbar (King & Spalding, Singapore), Andre Maniam SC, and Koh Swee Yen (WongPartnership LLP, Singapore).