A uniform and efficient framework for international settlement agreements resulting from mediation
The Singapore Convention applies to international settlement agreements resulting from mediation, concluded by parties to resolve a commercial dispute. It provides an efficient and harmonised framework for the enforcement of international settlement agreements resulting from mediation and for allowing parties to invoke such agreements.
The Singapore 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 ensures that a settlement reached by parties becomes binding and enforceable in accordance with a simplified and streamlined procedure. It thereby contributes to strengthening access to justice and the rule of law.
Mediation is known for improving the efficiency of dispute resolution and flexibility. The mediator’s role is not to adjudicate, but rather to facilitate discussions between disputing parties to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution. The mediation process is more flexible, and in many instances, more cost and time efficient than other dispute resolution processes such as litigation and arbitration.
Until the introduction of the Singapore Convention however, an often-cited challenge to the use of mediation was the lack of an efficient and harmonised framework for cross-border enforcement of settlement agreements resulting from mediation. It was in response to this need that the Singapore Convention was developed and adopted by the United Nations.
The Convention contributes to the development of a mature, rule-based global commercial system. The primary goals of the Convention are:
- To facilitate international trade; and
- To promote the use of mediation for the resolution of cross-border commercial disputes.
The Convention applies to international commercial settlement agreements resulting from mediation.
- It does not apply to settlement agreements that are enforceable as a judgment or as an arbitral award.
- It also does not apply to settlement agreements concluded for personal, family or household purposes by one of the parties (a consumer), as well as settlement agreements relating to family, inheritance or employment law.
The courts of a Party to the convention are expected to handle applications:
- To enforce a settlement agreement in accordance with its rules of procedure and under the conditions laid down in the Convention.
- To allow a party to invoke the settlement agreement in accordance with its rules of procedure
and under the conditions laid down in the Convention, in order to prove that the matter was
already resolved by the settlement agreement.
The courts of a Party to the Convention may refuse to grant relief on the grounds laid down in the Convention, including:
- If a party to the settlement agreement was under incapacity;
- If the settlement agreement is not binding, null and void, inoperative or incapable of being performed under the law to which it is subjected;
- If there was a serious breach by the conciliator of standards applicable to the conciliator, without which breach that party would not have entered into the settlement agreement;
- If granting relief would be contrary to the public policy of the contracting party.
The Convention Text
United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (the “Singapore Convention on Mediation”)Read More
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United Nations Model Law on International Commercial Mediation and International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, 2018 (amending the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation, 2002) Read More
- For the Travaux Préparatoires on the Convention Read More.
Resolution 73/198, “United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation”, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its 73rd session on 20 December 2018
Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law at its 51st session (25 June–13 July 2018)
- Working Documents of Working Group II: Arbitration and Conciliation / Dispute Settlement