2 Oct 2006 Posted in Speeches
ASEAN Heads of Delegation
Delegates and Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen
- I am happy to be here to deliver the opening address for today’s Workshop on International Commercial and Investment Arbitration for ASEAN Member States. To members of the ASEAN delegations, a warm welcome to Singapore. It is our pleasure to have you with us. We hope that you will have an enjoyable stay in Singapore.
Growing Importance of International Commercial and Investment Arbitration
- Over the past two decades, arbitration as a means of dispute resolution has gained increasing importance as an effective and useful alternative to litigation within the Court system. This is particularly so in the context of commercial and inter-governmental disputes where the parties involved may be parties or States from different legal systems.
- Parties have found arbitration, with its flexible nature, a useful process to resolve their disputes. Parties are free to choose the location of the arbitration, the laws, procedures and timelines they wish to adhere to, as well as the arbitrators who will preside over their case. The arbitration process can also yield time and cost savings in many instances.
Arbitration in ASEAN Member States
- Most ASEAN Member States have acceded to the New York Convention on enforcement of arbitral awards. Some have also incorporated domestic laws along the lines of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on International Arbitration into their domestic dispute resolution framework. International arbitral institutions such as the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce or ICC for short, have also been active in the promotion and conduct of arbitrations all over the world, including ASEAN.
- In ASEAN, we have seen the establishment of arbitral institutions such as the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. In ASEAN Member States, arbitral activity may also take place in the form of ad hoc arbitrations or under the auspices of their respective dispute resolution frameworks. Arbitration conferences are also regularly organised in various ASEAN Member States. The conference organized by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre together with the ICC and the American Arbitration Association that takes place tomorrow is one such example. Several member States also have formal associations of arbitration professionals.
Purposes of the ASEAN Workshop
- Against this developing landscape, it is important for government officers, lawyers and arbitrators in ASEAN to be apprised of the latest developments within each others’ jurisdiction in this area. There is also scope for the informal exchange of knowledge and ideas on the best practices and policy approaches for international arbitration.
- We hope that today’s Workshop will be a meaningful step in that direction, and provide ASEAN policy makers, legal officers, lawyers and arbitrators present, with the opportunity to share their respective countries’ experiences and practices in international arbitration. They will also learn about best practices and current issues on arbitration from experts in the field. We hope that after this Workshop, further meetings will be held to generate greater discourse, knowledge exchange and discussion amongst ASEAN Member countries, or even beyond, on this fast developing area.
- I note, from today’s programme, that a broad spectrum of topics will be discussed. I trust that the insights shared by our speakers and panellists will prove enriching and invaluable to all present today. It is rare to have such a host of eminent members of the ASEAN arbitration community all gathering in one place. I hope that delegates and speakers alike will take this opportunity to engage in lively discussion as well as network and interact.
- I wish you a meaningful and fruitful Workshop.
Last updated on 24 Nov 2012