As has been well publicised, the new Singapore Convention seeks to establish a global enforcement regime for settlement agreements resulting from mediation in cross-border commercial disputes. Signed on 7 August 2019 by 46 countries, the Convention could feasibly be in operation as early as the first half of next year (it will enter into force six months after ratification by at least three signatory states).
One feature of the Convention that has not been widely highlighted is the fact that, once it enters into force, it will apply to mediations conducted anywhere in the world, not just within jurisdictions that have ratified it. This is because, unlike most other enforcement treaties, it does not operate on the basis of reciprocity between contracting states. It will therefore be advisable for all mediating parties, regardless of whether their home state ever ratifies the Convention, to factor into their mediation procedures the potential to rely on the Convention should enforcement become necessary.
It is therefore timely to consider a number of practical issues emerging from the Convention, which litigants and their representatives should be turning their minds to now with a view to putting themselves in the best position to take advantage of the Convention in the future should the need arise.