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Singapore ratifies Hague Convention on choice of court agreements

Singapore has ratified the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements, making decisions made in the country more enforceable in Europe and Mexico. 03 Jun 2016

The move will "bolster Singapore’s position as a dispute resolution hub in Asia", Singapore's Ministry of Law said.

The Hague Convention is an international legal agreement between sovereign states on the mutual enforcement of legal decisions. It came into force in October 2015.

If a ratified country has been chosen to preside over a dispute in an "exclusive choice of court agreement", the hearing must take place in a court in that country.

The Convention also allows the recognition and enforcement of any foreign judgment given by, and the enforcement of any judicial settlement approved by or concluded before, a court of a Hague Convention state that is designated in an exclusive court agreement.

The Hague Convention now has 29 ratified signatories including Singapore, Mexico and all members of the EU except Denmark. The US and Ukraine have also signed the convention but have not yet ratified it.

Singapore-based commercial law expert Nicholas Brown of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com said: "This can be seen as another step toward a more coordinated, communicative and collaborative network of nations, with an emphasis on security and consistency of cross-border commercial dealings."

"With an increasing number of trans-national gatherings being held here, such as the upcoming 'Shangri-La Dialogue' Asia Security Summit that is being hosted in Singapore for the 14th consecutive year, and most of the world's leading multinationals choosing to base their Asian headquarters in the country, Singapore now plays a strong leadership role within Asia-Pacific," Brown said.

Singapore signed the Convention on 25 March 2015 but could not ratify it until the Choice of Courts Agreement Bill was passed in April.

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