On 7 October 2014, the following Bills were introduced in Parliament to facilitate the establishment of the Singapore International Commercial Court (the “SICC”):

  • Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Bill 2014
  • Supreme Court of Judicature (Amendment) Bill 2014
  • Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill 2014

(collectively referred to as the “Bills”)

The introduction of these Bills follows two prior public consultations conducted by the Ministry of Law (the “MinLaw”):

  • Public consultation between 8 and 30 April 2014 on draft versions of the Bills. An article reporting this public consultation was featured in the Allen & Gledhill Legal Bulletin (April 2014). To read the article titled “Ministry of Law consults on draft Bills to develop framework for the establishment of the Singapore International Commercial Court, please click here.
  • Public consultation between 3 December 2013 and 31 January 2014 on the Report of the Singapore International Commercial Court Committee (the “SICC Committee”) which recommended the establishment of the SICC. An article reporting this public consultation was featured in the Allen & Gledhill Legal Bulletin (December 2013). To read the article titled “Ministry of Law conducts public consultation on the Report of the Singapore International Commercial Court Committee, please click here.

Allen & Gledhill Partners Ang Cheng Hock, SC and Chong Yee Leong are members of the SICC Committee.

Key changes

Set out below is a summary of the key changes introduced in the respective Bills:

  • Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Bill 2014: This Bill provides for the appointment of International Judges who will be appointed for a specified period to hear specific cases or classes of cases as and when assigned by the Chief Justice.
  • Supreme Court of Judicature (Amendment) Bill 2014: Under this Bill, the SICC will be established as a division of the High Court with jurisdiction to hear and try actions of an international and commercial nature. SICC judgments will be enforceable as judgments of the Supreme Court of Singapore. Parties may ask for the court’s permission to apply the rules of evidence which they may be more familiar with. The Bill will also allow the Rules of Court to provide, where applicable, for different procedures and practices (for example, the process of discovery) to be followed in the SICC proceedings and appeals.
  • Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill 2014: The Bill provides for new provisions to allow for the registration and regulation of foreign-qualified lawyers who wish to appear before the SICC.

Reference materials

The following materials are available from the Singapore Parliament website www.parliament.gov.sgand the MinLaw website www.mlaw.gov.sg: