On 26 June 2018, the final drafts for a convention on the enforcement of international settlement agreements resulting from mediation and the corresponding model law were approved at the 51st Session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Proposals were endorsed for a signing ceremony to be held in Singapore in August 2019 and for the convention to be named the “Singapore Mediation Convention” – the first such convention to be named after Singapore.
The Singapore Mediation Convention aims to implement, for the first time, an international regime for the enforcement of mediated commercial settlements similar to the 1958 New York Convention (on the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards) and the 2005 Hague Convention (on the enforcement of foreign court judgments). States Parties to the Singapore Mediation Convention are required to enforce a mediated commercial settlement in accordance with their rules of procedure and under the conditions laid down in the Convention. They must similarly allow a party to a mediated commercial settlement to invoke the settlement to prove that a matter has already been resolved. There are limited grounds for refusing to grant relief, including incapacity of a party to the settlement; the settlement being void, not binding or subsequently modified; a serious breach by the mediator of applicable standards or a failure by the mediator to disclose circumstances raising doubts as to the mediator’s impartiality or independence where without such breach or failure that party would not have entered into the settlement agreement; and that to do so would be contrary to public policy of the State Party where relief is sought. (continued)