10 August 2021

MEDIA RELEASE: The Singapore Convention is a ground-breaking change for international dispute resolution

Resolution Institute's 2021 Dispute Resolution Conference

10 August 2021

On the 15th and 16th of July over 400 delegates descended virtually on to the  Resolution Institute 2021 international conference, Resilience and Reinvention: Dispute Resolution During a Crisis. Distinguished guest speakers included Her Excellency the Hon Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW and The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG who delivered the keynote address, titled Wicked Problems. Bright Solutions.

Speakers appearing at the event included key influencers and stakeholders from the business, government, law, judiciary, commercial and academic sectors.

Khory McCormick, Consultant to Bartley Cohen Lawyers chaired a panel titled “Singapore Convention on Mediation” where he revealed that the Singapore Convention represents a ground-breaking, some would say revolutionary, change to the international dispute resolution landscape. Khory was also the Australian delegate throughout the Working  Group sessions that produced the Singapore Convention  and associated Model Law.

“The member State uptake of the Convention affirms the clear corporate consumer desire to see mediation promoted as a preferred dispute resolution approach in the field of international cross border trade. Further, it has the potential to be the equal of the New York Convention on international arbitration if not a more favoured dispute resolution mechanism,” said Mr. McCormick.

An unprecedented 46 countries signed the Singapore Convention on Mediation when it was launched in 2019.  Large economies, including the United States, India, China and South Korea were among the pioneer signatories.  Since then, the momentum has continued to grow, with 8 more signatory states, most recently Brazil, according to Chuan Wee Meng, CEO of the Singapore International Mediation Centre and an international mediation expert. 

This demonstrates the tremendous support of so many countries to bring about a shift in how international commercial disputes are resolved.  With mediated settlements increasingly enforceable globally, businesses will have greater confidence and more options to resolve cross-border commercial disputes with mediation, thereby benefiting international trade and commerce 

As the New York Convention was a game-changer for international arbitration, experts believe the Singapore Convention will likewise help international mediation to be used as the first port of call in cross-border commercial disputes.

“In Australia the successful adoption of the Singapore Convention will be built on the judiciary’s willingness to embrace its potential and to give effect to the spirit and purpose of its provisions,” said Mr. McCormick.

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the local and global economies, significant challenges are apparent. For both private enterprises and public institutions, priorities are rapidly shifting under increased pressure and for organisations in dispute prone sectors, the efficient resolution of disputes is now more important than ever in order to maintain business and rebuild community confidence and harmony.

Resolution Institute is the peak industry body across dispute resolution disciplines in Australia and Aotearoa, New Zealand. We are a vibrant community of mediators, arbitrators, expert determiners, adjudicators, restorative justice practitioners and other dispute resolution professionals. We value integrity, excellence, innovation, collaboration, diversity, and influence. We reflect these values in our work for and with our members.


Sean Brogan, Public Affairs Manager: 0477 102 303