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Australia’s long-awaited signing at the Singapore Convention on Mediation

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By Alicia Hill, Principal and Angela Wang, Law Clerk

 On 10 September 2021, Australia, along with 54 other countries, signed the Convention on International Settlement Agreement Resulting from Mediation (‘Singapore Convention’). This has been a long-awaited step toward an improved avenue for parties to enforce and mediate settlement agreements internationally, reaping the benefits of cost and time-effectiveness. It will have a similar effect for mediation agreement as the New York Convention which enables international enforcement of arbitral awards.

What does this mean and what is effected by the signing of such agreement?

This convention offers stable and efficient framework in which international settlement agreements may take place as a result of mediations. This is especially focused on the resolving of commercial disputes.

The convention offers a platform to facilitate effective international trade and commerce by allowing parties of the dispute to communicate agreements across borders, without the requirement of litigation and arbitration.

The Singapore Convention Week took place from 6 September 2021 until 10 September 2021, hosted by the Singapore Ministry of Law. Post-signing, the Convention on Mediation will be separately enacted into the domestic legislation in order to take effect.

Australia’s involvement and signing of the Singapore conventions reaffirms its position within the international context, for dispute resolution. It reaps many benefits for owners of Australian businesses and in specific, those who trade across borders – including the following:

  • The importance of mediation in the context of international trade and business
  • Increased efficiency of dispute resolution between international countries leading to substantial cost reductions, increased flexibility and greater compliance of the parties involved
  • Increased credibility and attractiveness of Australia as a dispute resolution ‘hub’
  • Signing to be a part of 54 other countries
  • Enhances Australia’s trading relationship with some of the world’s largest economics such as China and India
  • Cement’s a global reputation as a place of international trade and business

Conclusion

A long-awaited step toward an improved avenue for parties to enforce and mediate settlement agreements internationally, reaping the benefits of cost-effectiveness, time-effectiveness and amicability. Australia’s joining of the settlement is a step in the right direction for commercial effectiveness of mediation across borders.

If you have any queries about any of the matters raised by this case, then please contact Alicia Hill on (03) 8540 0292 or alicia.hill@mst.com.au