Singapore: Recent developments in the enforcement of Dispute Board decisions

Dispute Boards are a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) which are becoming increasingly common on large and complex projects across the Asia Pacific region. A Dispute Board usually comprises 3 persons, one appointed by each party with a neutral chairperson. The Dispute Board is typically appointed at the start of a project and is regularly updated on the progress of the works. Where disputes arise, the Dispute Board decides on the dispute usually within a relatively short time frame. Depending upon the procedure adopted, it issues either a non-binding ‘Recommendation’ or a binding ‘Decision’. Decisions are binding unless or until overturned by litigation or arbitration (which is rare). Unfortunately, enforcement of Dispute Board Decisions is not always straightforward, particularly where the unsuccessful party is unwilling to cooperate. In this post we consider some of the difficulties which may arise with particular reference to a recent Singapore case addressing the enforcement of a Decision issued under a FIDIC 1999 Red Book-based standard contract (Perusahaan Gas Negara (Persero) TBK v CRW Joint Operation (Indonesia) [2014] SGHC146).

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