From 12 September 2020, all international settlement agreements resulting from mediation will potentially be able to be enforced under the new Singapore Convention, regardless of where in the world the mediation took place.
Article 14 of the Singapore Convention provides that it will enter into force six months after three signatory states have ratified it into their domestic law. We have previously reported that Fiji and Singapore deposited their instruments of ratification on 25 February 2020. On 12 March 2020, Qatar became the third state to ratify the Convention, meaning that the Convention will enter into force on 12 September 2020 – just over a year after its signing ceremony on 7 August 2019.
At this stage, the Convention will only apply where a settlement agreement is sought to be enforced (or relied on as a defence) in the ratifying states – Singapore, Qatar or Fiji. However, given that 49 other countries have already taken the first step of signing the Convention (including China and the US), it seems likely that this list could soon increase substantially.
For more detail on when and how the new Convention will operate (including what qualifies as an ‘international’ settlement agreement), see our earlier post here.
The Convention’s imminent entry into force presents an opportune moment for a refresher on some of the practical issues that emerge from its legal framework. Jan O’Neill in our London disputes team has published a post on the Practical Law Dispute Resolution Blog discussing a number of such practical issues, which those involved in mediations should be turning their minds to now. Click here to read that post.