by Gary Born, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Preliminarily, I am delighted to report on the publication, this month, of the Second Edition of International Arbitration: Law and Practice (2d ed. Kluwer 2015).  For readers who are interested in the book, click here.

More importantly, I am also delighted to report, in my capacity as President of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”) Court of Arbitration, on progress in the review of the SIAC Arbitration Rules.  The Rules revision was announced earlier this year and aims to take into account recent developments in international arbitration practice and procedure, as well as to introduce refinements to better serve the needs of the businesses, financial institutions and governments that use SIAC.

The most recent revision to the SIAC Arbitration Rules was in 2013, mainly to reflect SIAC’s new governance structures, including the restructuring of the SIAC Board of Directors and the creation of the SIAC Court of Arbitration.  The 2013 revision also clarified the Rules on issues such as the commencement of arbitrations and the extension of time limits.

The 2016 revision of the SIAC Rules will introduce state-of-the-art revisions to better cater to the needs and objectives of SIAC users.  A number of substantive changes are under consideration, including new rules on multiple contracts, consolidation and joinder,  as well as improvements to the existing emergency arbitrator and expedited procedures.  The SIAC will also be introducing a new set of SIAC Investment Arbitration Rules, which are intended to provide an efficient alternative to the ICSID Rules and UNCITRAL Rules that States can adopt in their bilateral investment agreements or in other instruments.  The SIAC Investment Arbitration Rules will contain provisions on early dismissal of meritless claims, transparency of arbitral proceedings and third party funding.

We have established a SIAC Rules Revision Executive Committee, and constituted a number of subcommittees which have been working on drafts of the revised SIAC Arbitration Rules. The newly-established SIAC Users Council – composed of arbitration practitioners and corporate counsel from 30 countries across Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and Latin America –  will also play a key role in the Rules revision, by providing feedback and market information from leading practitioners and users of international arbitration, including both outside and in-house counsel.

We anticipate releasing a draft of the revised SIAC Arbitration Rules and the SIAC Investment Arbitration Rules in December 2015 for public comment.  The new SIAC Arbitration Rules will be launched at the SIAC Congress on 27 May 2016.

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