Singapore: What happened in 2019 and significant events in 2020
Arbitration and Disputes
Singapore Convention on Mediation: In August 2019, Singapore hosted the signing of the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, now known as the Singapore Convention on Mediation.
Enforcement of foreign judgments: With effect from October 2019, the statutory regimes for reciprocal enforcement of Commonwealth and other foreign judgments have been unified under a single statute, the Reciprocal Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. The new regime expands the types of foreign judgments enforceable in Singapore to include non-money judgments, judgments of lower courts, interlocutory judgments, consent judgments and settlement orders.
Key dispute resolution cases:
In Bi Xiaoqiong v China Medical Technologies, Inc (in liquidation) and another  SGCA 50, the Singapore Court of Appeal held that a Mareva injunction may be granted in aid of foreign proceedings, but the Court must have jurisdiction over the defendant whose assets are targeted, and there must be a substantive claim against the defendant in Singapore. The decision departs from previous authority holding that Mareva injunctions would only be granted in aid of domestic court proceedings.
In Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd v Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pte) Ltd  SGCA 33, the Singapore Court of Appeal clarified that a party to arbitration proceedings who objects to the Tribunal’s preliminary ruling on jurisdiction, but who fails to challenge the ruling in the Singapore Courts within the statutory period of 30 days from the ruling date, can still apply to set aside the final arbitral award as long as it has not substantively participated in the arbitration.
The SICC issued its first decision on international arbitration (BXS v BXT  SGHC(I) 10), relating to the setting aside of an arbitral award issued under the expedited procedure of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre Rules.
In Sun Travels & Tours v Hilton International Manage (Maldives)  SGCA 10, the Singapore Court of Appeal held that it may, as the court of the seat of arbitration, grant an anti-enforcement injunction to restrain the foreign enforcement of a foreign court judgment obtained in breach of a Singapore-seated arbitration agreement. However, such relief would be granted only in exceptional circumstances, such as where the foreign judgment was procured by fraud.