The Singapore International Arbitration Centre or SIAC as it is commonly referred to was established in March 1990 by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Trade Development Board as a non-profit independent organisation to meet the demand for neutral dispute resolution services by the global business community. It formally commenced operations in 1991 with the aim of making Singapore a regional hub for dispute resolution. From its humble beginning just over 25 years ago when its offices were a small office within the then High Court building, it is now recognised as one of the leading arbitral institutions of the world, occupying Maxwell Chambers, the world’s first integrated dispute resolution complex in a stately colonial era building.
The first set of SIAC Rules were published on 1 September, 1991. The 1991 rules were adopted in part from the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 1976 and the LCIA Arbitration Rules 1985. Since then, the SIAC has made a number of revisions to its rules in response to demand from the business community for more efficiency in the dispute resolution process as well as to align them with the ever evolving best practices in international arbitration. Credit is due to the SIAC for its constant strive for perfection in the content of its rules, assiduously taking on board comment from its users Council; a body of practitioners and the end-users from across the globe set up with the sole aim of providing feedback to the SIAC on the arbitration process and how it can be improved.
1.Scope of Application and Interpretation
Where the parties have agreed to refer their disputes to SIAC for arbitration or to arbitration in accordance with the SIAC Rules, the parties shall be deemed to have agreed that the arbitration shall be conducted pursuant to and administered by SIAC in accordance with these Rules. These Rules shall come into force on 1 August 2016 and, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, shall apply to any arbitration which is commenced on or after that date.
2.Notice and Calculation of Periods of Time
For the purposes of these Rules, any notice, communication or proposal shall be in writing. Any such notice, communication or proposal may be delivered by hand, registered post or courier service, or transmitted by any form of electronic communication (including electronic mail and facsimile), or delivered by any other appropriate means that provides a record of its delivery. Any notice, communication or proposal shall be deemed to have been received if it is delivered:
(i) to the addressee personally or to its authorised representative;
(ii) to the addressee’s habitual residence, place of business or designated address;
(iii) to any address agreed by the parties;
(iv) according to the practice of the parties in prior dealings; or
(v) if, after reasonable efforts, none of these can be found, then at the addressee’s last-known residence or place of business.
Any notice, communication or proposal shall be deemed to have been received on the day it is delivered in accordance with Arbitration Rules of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre SIAC Rules (6th Edition, 1 August 2016) For the purpose of calculating any period of time under these Rules, such period shall begin to run on the day following the day when a notice, communication or proposal is deemed to have been received. Unless the Registrar or the Tribunal determines otherwise, any period of time under these Rules is to be calculated in accordance with Singapore Standard Time (GMT +8).
3.Notice of Arbitration
A party wishing to commence an arbitration under these Rules (the “Claimant”) shall file with the Registrar a Notice of Arbitration which shall include:
(a) a demand that the dispute be referred to arbitration;
(b) the names, addresses, telephone numbers, facsimile numbers and electronic mail addresses, if known, of the parties to the arbitration and their representatives, if any;
(c) a reference to the arbitration agreement invoked and a copy of the arbitration agreement;
(d) a reference to the contract or other instrument (e.g. investment treaty) out of or in relation to which the dispute arises and, where possible, a copy of the contract or other instrument;
(e) a brief statement describing the nature and circumstances of the dispute;
(f) a statement of any matters which the parties have previously agreed as to the conduct of the arbitration;
(g) any comment as to the applicable rules of law;
(h) any comment as to the language of the arbitration; and
(i) payment of the requisite filing fee under these Rules.
4.Response to the Notice of Arbitration
The Respondent shall file a Response with the Registrar within 14 days of receipt of the Notice of Arbitration. The Response shall include:
(a) a confirmation or denial of all or part of the claims;
(b) a brief statement describing the nature and circumstances of any counterclaim;
(c) any comment in response to any statements contained in the Notice of Arbitration;
(d) payment of the requisite filing fee under these Rules for any counterclaim.
Prior to the constitution of the Tribunal, a party may file an application with the Registrar for the arbitral proceedings to be conducted in accordance with the Expedited Procedure under this Rule, provided that any of the following criteria is satisfied:
(a) the amount in dispute does not exceed the equivalent amount of S$6,000,000, representing the aggregate of the claim, counterclaim and any defence of set-off
(b) the parties so agree; or
(c) in cases of exceptional urgency.
Where there are disputes arising out of or in connection with more than one contract, the Claimant may file a Notice of Arbitration in respect of each arbitration agreement invoked and concurrently submit an application to consolidate the arbitrations.
7. Joinder of Additional Parties
Prior to the constitution of the Tribunal, a party or non-party to the arbitration may file an application with the Registrar for one or more additional parties to be joined in an arbitration pending under these Rules as a Claimant or a Respondent, provided that any of the following criteria is satisfied:
(a) the additional party to be joined is prima facie bound by the arbitration agreement; or
(b) all parties, including the additional party to be joined, have consented to the joinder of the additional party.
Prior to the constitution of any Tribunal in the arbitrations sought to be consolidated, a party may file an application with the Registrar to consolidate two or more arbitrations pending under these Rules into a single arbitration, provided that any of the following criteria is satisfied in respect of the arbitrations to be consolidated:
(a) all parties have agreed to the consolidation;
(b) all the claims in the arbitrations are made under the same arbitration agreement; or
(c) the arbitration agreements are compatible.
9.Number and Appointment of Arbitrator
A sole arbitrator shall be appointed in any arbitration under these Rules unless the parties have otherwise agreed; or it appears to the Registrar, giving due regard to any proposals by the parties, that the complexity, the quantum involved or other relevant circumstances of the dispute, warrants the appointment of three arbitrators.
10. Sole Arbitrator
If a sole arbitrator is to be appointed, either party may propose to the other party the names of one or more persons to serve as the sole arbitrator. Where the parties have reached an agreement on the nomination of a sole arbitrator.
11. Three Arbitrators
If three arbitrators are to be appointed, each party shall nominate one arbitrator.
12. Multi-Party Appointment of Arbitrator
Where there are more than two parties to the arbitration, and a sole arbitrator is to be appointed, the parties may agree to jointly nominate the sole arbitrator. In the absence of such joint nomination having been made within 28 days of the date of commencement of the arbitration or within the period otherwise agreed by the parties or set by the Registrar, the President shall appoint the sole arbitrator.
13.Qualifications of Arbitrators
Any arbitrator appointed in an arbitration under these Rules, whether or not nominated by the parties, shall be and remain at all times independent and impartial.
14. Challenge of Arbitrators
A party may challenge the arbitrator nominated by it only for reasons of which it becomes aware after the appointment has been made.
15.Notice of Challenge
A party that intends to challenge an arbitrator shall file a notice of challenge with the Registrar in accordance with the requirements within 14 days after receipt of the notice of appointment of the arbitrator who is being challenged or within 14 days after the circumstances specified became known or should have reasonably been known to that party.
16. Decision on Challenge
If within seven days of receipt of the notice of challenge the other party does not agree to the challenge and the arbitrator who is being challenged does not withdraw voluntarily from office, the Court shall decide the challenge.
17. Replacement of an Arbitrator
Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, in the event of the death, resignation, withdrawal or removal of an arbitrator during the course of the arbitral proceedings, a substitute arbitrator shall be appointed in accordance with the procedure applicable to the nomination and appointment of the arbitrator being replaced.
18.Conduct of the Proceedings
The Tribunal shall conduct the arbitration in such manner as it considers appropriate, after consulting with the parties, to ensure the fair, expeditious, economical and final resolution of the dispute.
19.Seat of the Arbitration
The parties may agree on the seat of the arbitration. Failing such an agreement, the seat of the arbitration shall be determined by the Tribunal, having regard to all the circumstances of the case.
20.Language of the Arbitration
Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the Tribunal shall determine the language to be used in the arbitration.
21.Jurisdiction of the Tribunal
The Tribunal shall have the power to rule on its own jurisdiction, including any objections with respect to the existence, validity or scope of the arbitration agreement. An arbitration agreement which forms part of a contract shall be treated as an agreement independent of the other terms of the contract. A decision by the Tribunal that the contract is null and void shall not entail ipso jure the invalidity of the arbitration agreement, and the Tribunal shall not cease to have jurisdiction by reason of any allegation that the contract is non-existent or null and void.
22.Interim and Emergency Interim Relief
The Tribunal may, at the request of a party, issue an order or an Award granting an injunction or any other interim relief it deems appropriate. The Tribunal may order the party requesting interim relief to provide appropriate security in connection with the relief sought.
23.Applicable Law, Amiable Compositeur and Ex Aequo et Bono
The Tribunal shall apply the law or rules of law designated by the parties as applicable to the substance of the dispute. Failing such designation by the parties, the Tribunal shall apply the law or rules of law which it determines to be appropriate.
24.Fees and Deposits
The Tribunal’s fees and SIAC’s fees shall be ascertained in accordance with the Schedule of Fees in force at the time of commencement of the arbitration. The parties may agree to alternative methods of determining the Tribunal’s fees prior to the constitution of the Tribunal.
25.Cost of the Arbitration
The parties and the Tribunal shall specify in the Award the total amount of the costs of the arbitration. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the Tribunal shall determine in the Award the apportionment of the costs of the arbitration among the parties.
The party and any arbitrator including any Emergency Arbitrator and any person appointed by the tribunal shall treat all the matter relating to the proceeding as confidential. The discussion of the tribunal shall be confidential.
27.Decision of the President, the Court and the Registrar
The decisions of the President, the Court and the Registrar with respect to all matters relating to an arbitration shall be conclusive and binding upon the parties and the Tribunal.
Any party that proceeds with the arbitration without promptly raising any objection to a failure to comply with any provision of these Rules, or of any other rules applicable to the proceedings, any direction given by the Tribunal, or any requirement under the arbitration agreement relating to the constitution of the Tribunal or the conduct of the proceedings, shall be deemed to have waived its right to object.
In all matters not expressly provided for in these Rules, the President, the Court, the Registrar and the Tribunal shall act in the spirit of these Rules and shall make every reasonable effort to ensure the fair, expeditious and economical conclusion of the arbitration and the enforceability of any Award.
- Arbitration Rules of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre SIAC Rules.
- A Practical Guide to the SIAC Rules – Paul Sandosham.