SIAC commences consultation on revisions to its arbitration rules

On 22 August 2023, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”) commenced a public consultation on the Draft 7th Edition of the SIAC Rules (the “Consultation Draft”).

The Consultation Draft proposes significant changes to the existing 6th Edition of the SIAC Rules. As explained by the Registrar, Mr Kevin Nash in his Report introducing the consultation,  these changes have been proposed with a view to “enhancing the user experience and raising the bar on efficiency, expedition and cost-effectiveness”.

Key changes include:

  • Streamlined Procedure: The introduction of a new Streamlined Procedure for claims not exceeding SG$1 million. The Streamlined Procedure provides for small claims to be heard by a sole arbitrator with the final award (containing summary reasons) to be rendered within three months. The Streamlined Procedure serves as a further alternative to the SIAC’s existing Expedited Procedure, which in turn may apply to claims not exceeding SG$10 million (this threshold is raised from the existing SG$6 million).
  • Third-Party Funding: New provisions requiring disclosure of the existence of any third-party funding agreement and the identity of the third-party funder. The Tribunal is empowered to order the disclosure of additional information regarding funding arrangements, including details of the third-party funder’s interest in the outcome of proceedings and liability for adverse costs.
  • Tribunal powers: New provisions which expand, clarify and express the powers of the Registrar and Tribunal. These include new provisions regarding case management prior to the constitution of the tribunal, express powers to determine issues as preliminary issues, expanded rules on security for costs and claim and an emphasis on diversity, cost efficiency and environmental sustainability.
  • SIAC Gateway: The implementation of a new electronic case and document management system hosted by SIAC.

The public consultation closes on 21 November 2023. The SIAC has indicated its hope that all stakeholders, including but not limited to arbitration practitioners and in-house counsel, will participate in the consultation.

The Linklaters International Arbitration team will be submitting a response to the Consultation Draft in due course. If you have any observations on the Consultation Draft or would like to discuss, please get in touch with any of the contacts listed, or your usual Linklaters contact.