Singapore Convention on Mediation | 14 Sep 2020

Why in News

Recently, the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation has come into force.

  • The convention will provide a more effective way of enforcing mediated settlements of corporate disputes involving businesses in India and other signatories.

Key Points

  • About:
    • The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on 20th December 2018 and it was opened for signature on 7th August 2019 in Singapore.
    • It is also known as the Singapore Convention on Mediation and also the first UN treaty to be named after Singapore.
    • India approved the signing of the Convention in July 2019.
    • As on 1st September 2020, the Convention has 53 signatories, including China and the USA as well.
  • Significance:
    • The Convention has been designed to become an essential instrument in the facilitation of international trade and in the promotion of mediation as an alternative and effective method of resolving trade disputes.
    • It will ensure that a settlement reached by parties becomes binding and enforceable in accordance with a simplified and streamlined procedure.
    • Businesses seeking enforcement of a mediated settlement agreement across borders can do so by applying directly to the courts of countries that have signed and ratified the treaty, instead of having to enforce the settlement agreement as a contract in accordance with each country’s domestic process.
    • The harmonised and simplified enforcement framework will save time and legal costs, which are of crucial importance in uncertain times posed by pandemics like Covid-19.
    • Businesses in India and around the world will now have greater certainty in resolving cross-border disputes through mediation, as it provides a more effective means for mediated outcomes to be enforced.
  • Importance for India:
    • It will boost India’s ‘ease of doing business’ credentials by enabling swift mediated settlements of corporate disputes.
    • It will also increase the confidence of the investors and shall provide a positive signal to foreign investors about India's commitment to adhere to international practice on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

Source: TH