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CHAPTER 3 The Singapore Convention on Mediation: Its impact on international construction disputes

Construction Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution


Page 29

CHAPTER 3

The Singapore Convention on Mediation: Its impact on international construction disputes

The Singapore Convention on Mediation: Its impact on international construction disputes

Chong Shouyu

Introduction

3.1 The Singapore Convention on Mediation is set to change the landscape of cross-border alternative dispute resolution. It is the first multilateral treaty that advances a legal mechanism promoting the circulation of international mediated settlement agreements (‘iMSAs’)1 across territorial borders. An iMSA, which has not been ‘transformed’ into a consent arbitral award or court order, falling within the scope of the Singapore Convention will enjoy a unique status above and beyond its substance as a contractual agreement between disputing parties to settle conflicts at the mediation table. It may be argued that the Convention elevates iMSAs to the status of a novel form of legal instrument recognised under international law, because it establishes a framework – akin to the New York Convention – for judicial recognition and enforcement of commercial settlement agreements arising from mediation. This chapter examines the key features of the Convention and promotes debate over its potential impact on international construction disputes, which has increasingly favoured mediation in recent years.2

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