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Singapore becomes sea-dispute settlement centre

Singapore has become a venue for proceedings brought before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). 02 Sep 2015

Under an agreement between the tribunal and Singapore's Ministry of Law, proceedings before the tribunal or its special chambers can now be held in Singapore. The Singapore government will provide facilities whenever this is needed, the ministry said.

Minister for Law Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam said: "The joint declaration is a clear endorsement of Singapore as a neutral venue for the effective settlement of international disputes. It also demonstrates Singapore’s commitment to the international rule of law by facilitating access to ITLOS in order to serve the needs of the states of this region, with a view to promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes relating to the law of the sea."

ITLOS is an independent judicial body established by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to hear disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the UNCLOS. Its headquarters is in Hamburg, Germany

Singapore became a party to the convention on 1994. Currently, there are 167 parties to the convention: 166 States and the European Union.