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Singapore International Arbitration Centre announces investment arbitration rules

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has published the first edition of its investment arbitration rules, which came into effect on 1 January.06 Jan 2017

The specialised rules offer an alternative to the standard SIAC arbitration rules, addressing issues that specifically affect investment.

Rules include a default list procedure appointing the sole or presiding arbitrator and an opt-in mechanism for the appointment of an emergency arbitrator, SIAC said.

Strict timelines are laid out for challenges to arbitrators with built-in discretion for the arbitration to proceed during the challenge. The rules also include a procedure for early dismissal of claims and defences, provisions for submissions by non-disputing parties and to enable the tribunal to order the disclosure of third-party funding arrangements and to take such arrangements into account when apportioning costs. Timelines are given for the closure of proceedings and the submission of the draft award, as well as provisions relating to confidentiality and the publication of information relating to the dispute.

The Court of Arbitration rules revision executive committee developed the rules in consultation with the court's subcommittee on investment arbitration, and following consultation with SIAC's users' council and a public consultation exercise, SIAC said.

Gary Born, president of the Court of Arbitration said: "We are delighted to be launching the SIAC investment arbitration rules 2017, which contain significant modifications to the SIAC rules 2016 to reflect the special features and concerns arising in arbitration proceedings involving states, state-controlled entities and intergovernmental organisations."

"Both states and investors alike can be confident that, in resolving investment disputes under the SIAC investment arbitration rules, they will be provided with a neutral, balanced, transparent and efficient procedural framework that addresses issues that ordinarily arise in international investment arbitration law," Born said.  

Singapore-based arbitration expert Jon Howes of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com said: "This is a further significant development for SIAC and for arbitration in Singapore. The rules are well thought through and contain some interesting features such as early dismissal of claims and provisions on timelines, which I believe will be helpful to the quick and cost-effective resolution of disputes in this growing area."