Singapore International Arbitration centre (SIAC) officially released the new 2016 SIAC Rules which will come in to force from 1st August 2016. Mr. S Ravi Shankar, International arbitration lawyer and Senior Partner of Law Senate Law firm welcomed most of the proposed amendments to SIAC Rules 2016. Mr S Ravi Shankar issued a statement about the proposed Rules and the expected impact over the SIAC administered arbitrations, which are summarised below:
Multiple Contracts & Consolidation (Rules 6 &8) He stated that the major problem faced by the parties to international arbitrations arising out of or in connection with Multiple contracts/ multiple arbitration clauses was prohibitively high costs due to multiple proceedings resulting in conflicting (or awards with different findings) arbitral awards. The Newly announced SIAC Rules 6 & 8 provide for consolidation of such matters, before the commencement of the arbitration proceedings or even after commencement of the proceedings.
Joinder of Additional Parties (Rule 7) He further stated that the absence of the any provision in the Rules with regard to joinder of additional parties was a problem. Under the new 2016 Rules of SIAC, parties and non-parties can apply to the tribunal seeking to be joined in an ongoing arbitration.
Early Dismissal of Claims and Defences (Rule 29): Many arbitration matters are fully adjudicated even though they can be disposed in the initial stage itself, since they manifestly lack in legal merit or manifestly outside the jurisdiction. The Rule 29 provides a procedure for an early disposal of such matters.
Remedy against a party not paying arbitration fees: (Rule 27): The non-cooperating parties normally refuse to pay the arbitral Institution fee, arbitrator fee etc., The party which made the payments made for the opposite party, requires to wait till the final award to collect those amounts. Now the new Rule 27 of specifically provides for a separate award towards those amounts.
Improved Emergency Arbitrator proceedings (Rule 30, Schedule 1 & schedule of fees): The new SIAC Rules provide that appointment of emergency arbitrator shall be done in 1 day and the interim relief will be issued within 14 days and also has reduced the fees for emergency arbitrator to 25000 SGD.
Improved expedited procedure: The monetary threshold limit for expedited arbitration is increased from SGD 5,000,000 to 6,000,000. Now arbitrator can take a decision with regard to the expedited procedure on the basis of the documents alone. It further clarifies that in case of a conflict between the arbitration agreement and SIAC Rules, the rules will prevail.
Delocalising the seat of Arbitration (Rule21): SIAC has removed the default Singapore seat provision. Now the tribunal will decide the seat if parties have not specified the seat in the arbitration clause. Hence if you want to have your Arbitration you need to specifically state that in addition to choosing SIAC Rules.
Law Senate is a Professionally Managed Indian Law Firm, Providing Corporate and Personal Dispute resolution services including International Arbitration, Domestic Arbitration, Infrastructure & Construction Arbitration and related Litigation in Supreme Court of India & related services.This author has published 2 articles so far.