SINGAPORE – With Singapore making a name for itself as a centre for dispute resolution, even an old hand like Britain has said it can “learn a lot from the approach Singapore has taken in recent decades” on the subject.
A British parliamentary group said this in a report issued last month that was based on a week-long study visit to Singapore in August 2019.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) also said: “From adopting a ‘whole-of-government’ policy for disputes policy to efforts to boost the status of mediation as a means for settling international commercial disputes, there are several elements of the Singaporean approach which we think the UK should emulate and, where necessary, adapt and modify.”
The group is one of the many cross-party informal ones comprising members of both Houses of Britain’s Parliament with a common interest in particular issues.
During the visit, the group met key figures from the Singapore government, judiciary and business to learn more about how the country has established itself as a leading global disputes hub.
The report, Securing the UK’s position as a global disputes hub: Best practice lessons between Singapore and the UK, said: “The holistic approach to ADR in Singapore’s court system is mirrored by the actions taken by the government across the board.”
It cited the development of Maxwell Chambers as Singapore’s dedicated integrated ADR centre with seed capital provided by its government as “one of the most tangible examples”, noting it was part of a “holistic, forward-looking strategy to give real heft to the country’s disputes sector”.
It added : “Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon is hugely respected worldwide for his contributions to the ADR sector, and through his influence mediation has taken great strides forward, both in Singapore and internationally.”
Industry players here said the report is a nod to Singapore’s efforts to be a top global ADR hub. Mr Chou Sean Yu, WongPartnership’s head of litigation and dispute resolution, said: “It is heartening that this group has made various observations in its report which reflects that the steps taken in Singapore to promote itself as a hub for dispute resolution are clearly progressive and on the right track.
“The Government’s lead, the judiciary’s excellence and the concerted support from the various stakeholders in the Singapore legal eco-system have now received, in this report, deserved recognition.”
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