Singapore International Mediation Centre Founded to Serve International Dispute Resolution Needs
Thursday, January, 29, 2015
The Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) has been officially launched and established to serve the international business community in resolving disputes that reach across borders, time zones, and cultures. The founding of the new centre includes the establishment of a new protocol: The AMA Protocol, which is designed to promote mediation in international disputes by allowing mediation to be conducted almost as a sub-process of binding arbitration. In other words, when arbitration is triggered, the AMA protocol can be invoked to then proceed to the less combative and less expensive mediation under the auspices of SIMC.
The new AMA protocol can be used if companies include new language in the arbitration clauses of their contracts that refer specifically to SIMC. SIMC has helpfully provided model language for such clauses to make it easier for companies doing business internationally to put their disputes under the jurisdiction of Singapore and the SIMC using the new protocol. The model language however is purposefully vague on specific arbitration rules, leaving that to the individual companies to determine.
If companies are already involved in arbitration, they can still invoke the AMA protocol and refer the dispute to the SIMC at any time via mutual consent. Singapore, as with many other regional powers, is seeking to establish itself as the “go to” location for dispute resolution, which is seen as not only a profitable status symbol for the area but also a way of imposing favorable business conditions on the region.