Singapore has launched the Singapore International Commercial Court which seeks to bring foreign commercial cases to be heard in Singapore. The Kluwer blog has done a good job describing the mechanism of how such litigation would take so I will not deal with those points but will deal with the practical commercial reasons to have your dispute heard in Singapore Courts.
Singapore is well known for efficiency and speed in dealing with commercial legal disputes and the setting up of the SICC would further allow parties to have their cases heard in Singapore. This article will set out some practical reasons why parties would want to commence proceedings in the SICC instead of the country where the business operations of the disputing parties may typically be found:
a. Singapore has become the second largest wealth management centre in the world. Most people say yes I know this, but fail to realise that the implication of this is that a judgement from Singapore can be readily enforced against the tycoon assets which may be sitting in Singapore (if such assets are held in their names). As most people would realise, you don’t want a paper judgement but you want something that can be enforced against.
b. Singapore is well known to be fair in terms of hearing cases and the rule of law is very strong in Singapore with a very strong stance taken against corruption so the possibility of bribing judges to get a favourable verdict is much less possible in Singapore as compared to the rest of Asia.
c. Singapore has taken great strides to impose key performance indicators on the judicial system by introducing a docket system which tracks how fast cases are progressing through the judicial process. Such tracking helps to speed up the hearing of cases and grant speedy justice to would be applicants.
Most businesses in Asia love to deal with their legal battles speedily and focus on making money in their businesses. We would suggest that the SICC is a great approach in that direction to help the tycoons of Asia deal with their legal battles speedily.
Singapore has done well with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and we predict using its marketing dollars in a similar way will make a success of the SICC.
Do you think the SICC will ultimately be successful?