Singapore Convention on Mediation comes into force

• The Convention, also known as United Nations (UN) Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, is the first UN treaty to be named after Singapore.

About:

• Convention applies to international settlement agreements resulting from mediation, concluded by parties to resolve a commercial dispute.

• It will allow businesses to seek enforcement of a mediated settlement agreement across borders by applying directly to courts of countries that have signed and ratified the treaty.

• Currently, Convention has 53 signatories, including India, China, and US.

• Significance of the Convention:

• It will facilitate international trade and commerce by enabling disputing parties to easily enforce and invoke settlement agreements across borders.

• Businesses will benefit from mediation as an additional dispute resolution (ADR) option to litigation and arbitration in settling cross-border disputes.

• It helps to save time and legal costs of companies.

Benefits for India:

• It will boost ease of doing business credentials by enabling swift mediated settlements,

• To provide a positive signal to foreign investors about India’s commitment to adhere to international practice on ADR.

Alternative Dispute Resolution:

• Alternative Dispute Resolution refers to any means of settling disputes outside of the courtroom. ADR typically includes negotiation, conciliation, mediation, and arbitration.

• Negotiation: A non-binding procedure in which discussions between the parties are initiated without the intervention of any third party with the object of arriving at a negotiated settlement to the dispute.

• Mediation: In mediation, an impartial person called a “Mediator” helps the parties try to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the dispute.

• Arbitration: In this dispute is submitted to an arbitral tribunal which makes a decision (an “award”) on the dispute that is mostly binding on the parties.

• Conciliation: A non-binding procedure in which an impartial third party, the conciliator, assists the parties to a dispute in reaching a mutually satisfactory agreed settlement of the dispute.

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Mains Paper 2: International

Prelims level: Singapore Convention

Mains level: Details about the convention and benefit to India

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