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Singapore High Court Confirms Determination of Evidence and Procedure in International Arbitration

international arbitration

Singapore High Court Confirms that Matters of Evidence and Procedure in International Arbitration are for the Tribunal Alone to Determine

In BQP v BQQ [2018] SGHC 55 (“BQP v BQQ”), the Singapore High Court confirmed that arbitrators are generally free to determine matters of evidence and procedure in international arbitration, unhindered by the national laws of the seat and the underlying contract.

Facts

BQQ commenced a Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) arbitration in Singapore against BQP for breach of contract, in accordance with the arbitration clause in contract A. BQP objected to the tribunal’s jurisdiction on the basis that contract A was superseded by contract B, which required parties to arbitrate their dispute through Badan Arbitrase Nasional Indonesia (BANI) arbitration in Indonesia.

The tribunal considered both contracts with guidance from evidence of pre-contractual negotiations between the parties, and concluded that contract B did not supersede contract A. The tribunal therefore found that it had the jurisdiction to decide the dispute. BQP challenged the tribunal’s award on jurisdiction in the High Court of Singapore.

In dismissing the BQP’s challenge on the tribunal’s award on jurisdiction, one of the issues that the High Court had to decide was whether pre-contractual negotiations are admissible in evidence to construe written agreements.

Source: CMS Legal – Asya Jamaludin and Lukas Lim