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The Singapore Convention on Mediation: Origins and Application to Investor-State Disputes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Nadja Alexander, Shouyu Chong

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Asian Turn in Foreign Investment
EditorsMahdev Mohan, Chester Brown
PublisherCambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chapter20
Pages340-360
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)978-1-108-42659-6
Accepted/In press31 Jul 2021

King's Authors

Abstract

The Singapore Convention on Mediation is a United Nations multilateral treaty that establishes an expedited enforcement framework to facilitate the circulation of international mediated settlement agreements (‘iMSAs’) across borders. The Convention’s focus is on iMSAs of a commercial nature. While there is no express definition of the term ‘commercial’, this chapter argues that its meaning is broad enough to extend to settlements of investor-State disputes resulting from mediation. In light of the UNCITRAL Working Group III deliberations on investor-State dispute settlement reform which include the potential for greater use of mediation, the ratification of the Singapore Convention is timely. Neither contracts nor consent arbitral awards, iMSAs which fall within the scope of, and satisfy the conditions contained in, the Singapore Convention enjoy a unique status. Arguably, the Singapore Convention elevates iMSAs to the status of a new type of legal instrument recognised in international law. As of May 2020, the Convention has more than 50 State Party signatories, four of which – Singapore, Fiji, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – have ratified its articles into State law. It will come into force on 12 September 2020, which is six months after the date of deposit of the third instrument of ratification (by Qatar on 12 March 2020), in accordance with Article 14 of the Convention. This chapter first examines how the Convention establishes a system for the recognition and enforcement of commercial iMSAs, providing a succinct analysis of the key features of the Convention. It then examines its application to, and potential impact upon, investor-State dispute settlement.

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