First published on Singapore International Arbitration Blog, 14 July 2015

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) has plenty to be proud of – with over 13,000 members in more than 120 countries, CIArb has established itself as a leading global institution that supports the promotion, facilitiation and development of all forms of private dispute resolution. Its current Patron is none other than The Honourable the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Chief Justice of Singapore.

CIArb celebrates its centenary year in 2015. To mark the occasion, conferences and events have been lined up around the world with a focus on looking ahead. The CIArb Singapore Centenary Conference, entitled “The Age of Innovation: Addressing The Perils & Promises of Arbitration”, will be held at the Marina Bay Sands on 3rd & 4th September. Find out more about the Conference here and register soon because seats are limited.

At the London Centenary Conference that was held from 1 – 3 July, CIArb launched and debated draft Principles which distil 10 key characteristics that are necessary for an effective, efficient and “safe” seat for conducting international commercial arbitration. The Principles relate to:

1. Law
2. Judiciary
3. Legal Expertise
4. Education
5. Right of Representation
6. Accessibility and Safety
7. Facilities
8. Ethics
9. Enforceability
10. Immunity

CIArb recognises that the Principles touch on potentially complex issues and hopes to further refine and define these principles in time. In many ways, what CIArb has done will help States, professional bodies and other arbitration stakeholders to focus on the most important issues that need to be addressed in order for international arbitration to flourish in any particular jurisdiction. In the ASEAN region, this of course has particular relevance for States such as Myanmar that are still in the early stages of developing what many would hope to be a reliable and investor friendly international arbitration framework (see our previous post on Myanmar’s Draft Arbitration Bill).

In a previous post, I offered a few reasons why Singapore has managed to establish itself as a preferred venue for international arbitration, not just within Asia, but globally. The CIArb Centenary London Conference Principles provide a very useful reference or yardstick against which Singapore’s success as a seat for international arbitration can be mapped.

Interestingly, in his Patron’s Address at the London Centenary Conference, The Honourable the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Chief Justice of Singapore shared very candidly about how the international arbitration landscape in Singapore had steadily developed over the years. I hope to share some thoughts on this subject in a subsequent post.