To strengthen Singapore’s reputation as an international commercial arbitration hub, the Ministry of Law has proposed the International Arbitration (Amendment) Bill[R1] (the “Bill”) which has been introduced for the first reading in Singapore’s parliament on 1 September 2020.
The main proposals in the Bill are:
- to provide for the default procedure for appointment of arbitrators where the parties are unable to agree on the appointment of the arbitrators in a multi-party arbitration, specifically providing the process and timeframe that should be adopted by parties; and
- to provide explicit recognition that an arbitral Tribunal and the High Court have powers to make orders or give directions to any party to an arbitration for enforcing any obligation of confidentiality.
Additionally, the Ministry of Law expressed that it will continue to study the other two remaining proposals which:
- allows parties to request the arbitrator(s) to decide on jurisdiction at the preliminary award stage by mutual agreement; and
- provides an opt-in mechanism to allow parties to appeal to the High Court on a question of law arising out of an arbitral award.