The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has issued a 4th Edition of the SIAC Rules, which are the primary rules for arbitrations conducted at the SIAC (“2010 SIAC Rules”). The 2010 SIAC Rules came into operation on 1 July 2010 and supersede the previous SIAC Rules (3rd Edition, 1 July 2007) (“2007 SIAC Rules”).  

The 2010 SIAC Rules finds its foundations in the 2007 SIAC Rules, but clarifies and updates certain provisions, while also introducing new features aimed towards facilitating effective and efficient arbitration at SIAC.  

Key amendments include:-  

Expedited procedure

Prior to the full constitution of the Tribunal, a party may apply for the arbitration proceedings to be conducted in accordance with an Expedited Procedure.  

This procedure is available when:-  

  1. The amount in dispute does not exceed S$5million, representing the aggregate of the claim, counterclaim, and any setoff defence;  
  2. The parties so agree; or  
  3. In cases of exceptional urgency.  

Where the SIAC Chairman agrees that the Expedited Proceduremay be used:-  

  1. The Registrarmay shorten any time limits prescribed under the 2010 SIAC Rules;  
  2. The case shall be referred to a sole arbitrator (unless the Chairman decides otherwise);  
  3. The award shall be made within six months from the date the Tribunal is constituted; and  
  4. The award must state the reason upon which it is based in summary form, unless the parties agree that no reasons are to be given.  

Emergency arbitrator

In the event that emergency interim relief is sought, the 2010 SIAC Rules allow a party to apply for the appointment of an Emergency Arbitrator concurrent with, or following, the filing of a Notice of Arbitration but prior to the constitution of the Tribunal.  

The Emergency Arbitrator shall have the powers of the Tribunal and may order any interim relief he deems necessary. After the Tribunal is constituted, the Emergency Arbitrator shall have no further power to act, and the Tribunal may alter any interim relief granted by the Emergency Arbitrator.  

Removal of Memorandum of Issues

The requirement for a Memorandum of Issues, which defined the issues to be determined by the Tribunal in the arbitration, has been removed in the 2010 SIAC Rules.  

However, in likemanner, Rule 16.4 of the 2010 SIAC Rules provides that the tribunal may in its discretion direct the order of proceedings, and direct the parties to focus their presentations on issues the decision of which could dispose of all or part of the case.  

Confidentiality of arbitration proceedings and award

Previously, parties were directed to keep the arbitration proceedings and award confidential, but as there were no consequences for any breach of the confidentiality rule, the enforcement of this provision often lacked bite.  

Under the 2010 SIAC Rules, the Tribunal is now authorised to take appropriate measures if a party contravenes the confidentiality rule, including issuing an order or award for sanctions or costs.  

New schedule of fees

The administrative and arbitrators’ fees have been revised and increased. The full table of fees is available on the SIAC website at www.siac.org.sg