Singapore Convention: changes in mediation in an international context

October 03, 2019

This summer, 46 countries including France, the United States and China signed the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, also known as the Singapore Convention.

Its goal? Facilitate international trade and promote mediation as an alternative means of resolution of its disputes.

How? By promising recognition and a simplified and streamlined enforcement of agreements resulting from a successful mediation, for more security. Indeed, if filing recognition/enforcement judicial proceedings is necessary (should a party abstain from complying spontaneously with the settlement resulting from a mediation), judicial review will be limited to verifying the conditions under which the parties have reached agreement, only several grounds of refusal being defined (which are comparable to those already provided for under the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards).

If the Singapore Convention demonstrates a willingness to promote alternative dispute resolution procedures in international trade disputes, it is however only the result of a search for consensus in a heterogeneous international legal context of the very notion and practices of mediation. It is remains therefore in the interests of all parties to mediation to be represented by local counsel in its implementation and subsequent proceedings.

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