This is an Insight article, written by a selected partner as part of GAR's co-published content. Read more on Insight

There have been a number of developments in Singapore since our last report.

In his keynote speech at the inaugural SIAC Congress 2014 on 6 June 2014, Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam, Singapore’s minister for foreign affairs and minister for law, observed that there had been an increased preference for arbitration as a means of dispute resolution in the region over the years and commented that there was room for further growth driven by continued economic development in Asia. He noted that Singapore was now the third-most preferred seat of arbitration worldwide and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), the fourth most preferred arbitral institution worldwide.1 He pointed out that the success of the arbitration sector in Singapore was due to several factors, including Singapore’s strong legal framework, arbitration-friendly policies and regulation, proximity and connectivity to the rest of the world and the growth of the SIAC into a first-rate arbitration centre. He promised that the Singapore government will continue to support the growth and development of arbitration in Singapore.

Minister Shanmugam said that building on the success in arbitration, Singapore was looking to develop complementary infrastructure and services in international commercial litigation and mediation. These initiatives were first mooted in January 2013 by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon. A committee co-chaired by Justice VK Rajah (now the attorney general of Singapore) and senior minister of state, Indranee Rajah, and comprising of Singapore lawyers and prominent international counsel, including the Honourable James Jacob Spigelman, AC QC; former chief justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Lord Peter Goldsmith QC PC; former attorney general of England and Wales and professor, Jan Paulsson, was set up. In November 2013, the committee delivered its report and recommended the creation of the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) as a division of the Singapore Supreme Court. The Singapore government has since announced that the SICC will be formed.

Several international arbitration matters were heard before the Singapore Court of Appeal and High Court in the period from July 2013 to June 2014 and we report on the following below in further detail:

  • in International Research Corp PLC v Lufthansa Systems Asia Pacific Pte Ltd & Anor [2013] SGCA 55, the Court of Appeal held that a third party was not bound by an arbitration clause contained in a related contract between two other parties;
  • the High Court set out guidance on what would constitute a breach of natural justice by an arbitral tribunal in TMM Division Maritima SA de CV v Pacific Richfield Marine Pte Ltd [2013] SGHC 186;
  • in PT First Media TBK (formerly known as PT Broadband Multimedia TBK) v Astro Nusantara International BV [2013] SGCA 57, the Court of Appeal held that it was still open to an award debtor to resist enforcement of an international arbitration award or a jurisdictional ruling made in Singapore when it failed to apply to have the decision set aside within the time limits prescribed by the Model Law;
  • the High Court considered whether a minority oppression claim under section 216 of the Singapore Companies Act could be arbitrated in Silica Investors Limited v Tomolugen Holdings Limited [2014] SGHC 101;
  • the High Court was asked in The Lao People’s Democratic Republic v Sanum Investments Ltd & Anor [2013] SGHC 183 to issue subpoenas compelling the production of documents relating to an audit in order to assist in international investment arbitrations seated in Singapore;
  • in R1 International Pte Ltd v Lonstroff AG [2014] SGHC 69, the High Court opined that the court has power to grant a permanent anti-suit injunction in relation to arbitration proceedings.

Continued growth of international arbitration in Singapore

The year 2013 saw a new record year for SIAC. New case filings increased by a further 10 per cent from 235 in 2012 to 259 received in 2013, reinforcing SIAC’s position as one of the fastest-growing arbitral institutions in the world.2 Of the new cases filed with SIAC in 2013, 86 per cent were international in nature and 48 per cent had no connection with Singapore. SIAC received cases from parties from 50 jurisdictions, with the highest number of filings being generated by Indian parties who have been one of the strongest contributors of cases to SIAC over the past four years. In order to interact more closely and share information on a regular basis with current and potential users in this important jurisdiction, 2013 also saw SIAC open its first overseas liaison office in Mumbai, India. This was followed by the opening of a second liaison office at the new International Dispute Resolution Centre in Seoul, South Korea.

New initiatives implemented at the SIAC included the establishment of a new panel of arbitrators for intellectual property disputes, the introduction of a new schedule of fees and amendments to the practice notes on case administration to provide for, amongst other things, the Registrar to be able to consult the SIAC Court of Arbitration on issues arising during scrutiny of draft arbitral awards.

There was some debate which evolved as to whether the proposed SICC will be a threat to the success of the SIAC. As noted by Minister Shanmugam in his address at the SIAC Congress 2014, the SICC will simply be another option for businesses to consider when resolving disputes, as part of a complete suite of dispute resolution offerings to parties. He said that the SICC would appeal to parties who would have non-arbitrable disputes and would like the availability of an appeal. While not all the details concerning the SICC have been finalised, the key elements of the SICC include:

  • the setting up of a panel of judges for the SICC comprising not only judges from the Singapore judiciary, but specialist judges from around the world;
  • as the SICC is intended to be a forum for international disputes, it has the ability to apply foreign law in determining disputes; and
  • parties before the SICC will be entitled to engage international counsel (subject to registration requirements) to conduct the advocacy at hearings and not just Singapore lawyers.

The SICC is expected to be up and running early next year, along with a new Singapore International Mediation Centre, which will provide international commercial mediation services.

Case law

Third party to contract not bound by arbitration agreement in related contract between two other parties

We reported in last year’s chapter the High Court’s decision in International Research Corp PLC v Lufthansa Systems Asia Pacific Pte Ltd & Anor [2012] SGHC 226 that parties had intended an arbitration agreement to be binding on a third party. The Court of Appeal reviewed this decision in International Research Corp PLC v Lufthansa Systems Asia Pacific Pte Ltd & Anor [2013] SGCA 55.

The appellant (IRCP) and the second respondent (Datamat), were respondents in an arbitration instituted by the first respondent (Lufthansa), pertaining to disputes arising under an agreement between only Lufthansa and Datamat (the cooperation agreement). Under the cooperation agreement, Lufthansa was to supply a system that would be utilised by Datamat to fulfil another contract with a third party, Thai Airways (TA). IRCP was another of Datamat’s subcontractors for its contract with TA. Subsequently, Datamat ran into financial difficulties and was unable to meet its payment obligations to Lufthansa. To resolve the situation, the three parties entered into two supplemental agreements pursuant to which IRCP would, inter alia, provide certain financial guarantees and pay monies (received by Datamat from TA) to Lufthansa for services rendered under the cooperation agreement. Clause 37.2 and 37.3 of the cooperation agreement contained a multi-tiered dispute resolution mechanism (the Dispute Resolution Mechanism) which included arbitration in Singapore.

Lufthansa terminated both agreements and commenced arbitration proceedings against IRCP and Datamat for non-payment of outstanding sums. IRCP objected to the tribunal’s jurisdiction on the grounds that it was not a party to the arbitration agreement contained in the cooperation agreement; and even if it was a party to the arbitration agreement, Lufthansa had not fulfilled the conditions precedent for the commencement of any arbitration. The tribunal dismissed IRCP’s arguments and ruled that it had jurisdiction. IRCP applied to the High Court pursuant to article 16(3) of the UNCITRAL Model Law (Model Law) and section 10 of the IAA, but was unsuccessful in setting aside the jurisdiction ruling.

The Court of Appeal allowed IRCP’s appeal and held that the tribunal did not have jurisdiction over IRCP and its dispute with Lufthansa. The Court of Appeal held that IRCP was not bound by the arbitration clause in the cooperation agreement when it entered into the supplemental agreements. While the cooperation agreement had to be read with the supplemental agreements to understand IRCP’s obligations, IRCP undertook no obligation under the cooperation agreement. IRCP’s only substantive obligation under the Supplemental Agreement was to act as a payment agent for Datamat; the primary rights and obligations under the cooperation agreement between Datamat and Lufthansa remained unaffected and intact. The first Supplemental Agreement expressly stated that Lufthansa and Datamat agreed that IRCP had no other obligations than those provided for therein, which meant that the obligation to arbitrate in clause 37.3 of the cooperation agreement had been excluded.

The Court of Appeal further decided that, by agreeing to such an arrangement, IRCP would not have expected to be involved in an arbitration concerning disputes as to the substantive obligations in the cooperation agreement. There was also no presumption that parties had intended for any dispute arising out of both agreements to be decided by the same tribunal. First, not all parties to the dispute were also parties to the arbitration clause in clause 37.3 of the cooperation agreement; and second, there would not be a situation where issues arising between IRCP and Lufthansa would be common to those which might arise between Lufthansa and Datamat.

Finally, the Court of Appeal noted that the language and form of the arbitration clause pointed against the incorporation of the dispute resolution mechanism into the supplemental agreements. The preconditions for arbitration in clause 37.2 were specific and did not contemplate the IRCP’s participation; its workability would be questionable if incorporated into the supplemental agreements.

What constitutes a breach of natural justice by an arbitral tribunal?

In TMM Division Maritima SA de CV v Pacific Richfield Marine Pte Ltd [2013] SGHC 186, the plaintiff (TMM) and the defendant (PRM) were parties to two memoranda of agreements (MoA) for the purchase of vessels. TMM had rejected delivery of the vessels, claiming that they were not physically ready for delivery as required by the MoA. TMM claimed that this amounted to a repudiation of the MoA by PRM and commenced arbitration. PRM counterclaimed, alleging that TMM had itself repudiated the MoA by failing to accept delivery of the vessels.

The arbitrator found that there had been no repudiatory breach by PRM. Accordingly, TMM was held to have repudiated the MoA by rejecting delivery. TMM applied to set aside the award under section 24(b) of the IAA and article 34(2)(a)(iii) of the Model Law on grounds that the arbitrator had breached the rules of natural justice and had dealt with a dispute outside of the scope of submission to arbitration.

The High Court recognised as a general principle that while it must invariably look at the evidence on the record to determine the merits of the challenge brought against an arbitral award, it did not follow that the court would always sift through the entire record of the arbitral proceedings with a fine-tooth comb. A court should not nitpick the award but should read it in a reasonable and commercial way, expecting that there will be no substantial fault to be found with it.

The High Court held that an arbitral tribunal was required to ensure that the essential issues were dealt with, but need not deal with each point made by a party. It further held that arbitral tribunals must be given fair latitude in determining what was essential or otherwise, and could take the view that the dispute before it may be disposed of without further consideration of certain issues. In this regard, natural justice required an arbitral tribunal to demonstrate that it had at least attempted to comprehend the parties’ arguments on essential issues. The explicability of a decision was only one factor that went towards proving that it failed to do so, and the central inquiry was whether the award reflected the fact that the arbitral tribunal had applied its mind to the critical issues and arguments.

An arbitral tribunal is generally bound to give reasons for its decision, but such duty was of a lower standard than that applicable to court decisions. Arbitrators are usually not required to give an explanation of each step taken in evaluating the evidence or their reasons for attaching more weight to some evidence than to other evidence. The key question is ‘whether the contents of the arbitral award taken as a whole inform the parties of the bases on which the arbitral tribunal reached its decision on the material or essential issues’. The High Court noted that the arbitrator’s preference of a particular piece of evidence is ‘strictly irrelevant’ as it does not exercise appellate jurisdiction over the tribunal in setting aside proceedings under the IAA. In the present case, it was held that the arbitrator had met the minimum standard for giving reasons and explanations expected of an arbitral tribunal.

Finally, the High Court made it clear that it will not allow dissatisfaction with the merits of an arbitrator’s decision to be turned into an allegation of bias, and curial recourse against an award should not be abused as an opportunity to invite the court to judge the full merits and conduct of the arbitration.

Doctrine of ‘choice of active and passive remedies’ at heart of the design of the Model Law

PT First Media TBK (formerly known as PT Broadband Multimedia TBK) v Astro Nusantara International BV [2013] SGCA 57 was an appeal to the Court of Appeal arising from the High Court decision in Astro Nusantara International BV v PT Ayunda Prima Mitra [2012] SGHC 212 (which we had covered in our report last year).

Two parties, the Astro Group and the Lippo Group, had been involved in a joint venture that had failed. This failure gave rise to a dispute between the parties that resulted in arbitration proceedings in Singapore. The proceedings were commenced pursuant to the arbitration clause in the parties’ agreement governing the joint venture (JVA). Of the eight respondents, only the first to the fifth respondents had been parties to the JVA. The sixth to eighth respondents were not parties to the JVA but had been involved in the provision of services envisaged under it. Rather than having separate civil litigation proceedings, the respondents asked the arbitral tribunal to declare that the sixth to eighth respondents be joined as parties to the arbitration, and to further decide on the claims of the sixth to eighth respondents. The tribunal issued an award (the joinder award) finding that it did have the power to join the sixth to eighth respondents to the arbitration proceedings and that such joinder was desirable and necessary in the interests of justice. Under the IAA and article 16(3) of the Model Law, the appellant could have appealed against the joinder award. However, it chose not to and instead proceeded to defend the case in the arbitration albeit reserving its rights on the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

The respondents sought to enforce the joinder award (along with other awards issued in its favour) in Singapore and obtained leave to do so. The appellant challenged the enforcement of the awards, invoking the Tribunal’s lack of jurisdiction as a ground to resist enforcement. The core question was whether the appellant was entitled to raise a jurisdictional objection (relating to the joinder of the sixth to eighth respondents to the arbitration) when Astro sought to enforce the arbitration awards in Singapore (long after the time stipulated for any setting-aside applications under the Model Law), or whether it was too late for it to do so.

At first instance, the High Court held that, as section 3(1) of the IAA expressly excludes article 36 of the Model Law which sets out the grounds for resisting enforcement of an award, it was not open to an award debtor to resist enforcement of an international arbitration award or a jurisdictional ruling made in Singapore. The award debtor could only apply to have the decision set aside within the time limits prescribed by the Model Law. Accordingly, the appellant’s challenge with respect to jurisdiction ought to have been raised at the earlier stage and that at the enforcement stage no such challenge with respect to jurisdiction was available.

 The Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s decision, which held that the Tribunal’s orders that purport to apply as between the appellant and the sixth to eighth respondents suffer from a deficit in jurisdiction and are therefore not enforceable in Singapore.

The Court of Appeal found that the doctrine of the ‘choice of remedies’ was at the heart of the entire design of the Model Law. Pursuant to this doctrine, a party to an international arbitration in Singapore against which a preliminary ruling or an award is rendered is able to:

  • actively challenge a tribunal’s preliminary ruling on jurisdiction or to apply for an award to be set aside under article 16(3) and 34 of the Model Law respectively; or
  • elect the ‘passive remedy’ of resisting enforcement of an award at a later stage pursuant to section 19 of the IAA on any of the grounds under article 36 of the Model Law.

The Court of Appeal was of the view that the express exclusion of article 36 of the Model Law by section 3(1) of the IAA was not sufficiently indicative of legislative intention to deprive an award debtor of the benefit of the ‘passive’ remedies enjoyed under the English law and the Model Law. The Court of Appeal arrived at this view after an extensive analysis of, among others:

  • the preparatory works of the Model Law;
  • English arbitration law;
  • the application of the Model law in other jurisdictions;
  • the reports of the law reform committee tasked with the introduction of the IAA and the relevant Singapore parliamentary debates; and
  • various academic commentaries.

The Court of Appeal found that the Singapore courts’ power to enforce an award under section 19 of the IAA had to be read consistently with the philosophy of the Model Law and, given the fundamental importance of the ‘choice of remedies’ doctrine, any exclusion of the doctrine would need to have been made explicitly.

The Tribunal’s ruling on joinder of the sixth to eighth respondents was made pursuant to Rule 24(b) of the SIAC Rules (2007 Edition), which provides that the tribunal has the power to ‘allow other parties to be joined in the arbitration with their express consent, and to make a single final award determining all disputes among the parties to the arbitration’. The Court of Appeal overturned the Tribunal’s ruling on joinder and held that any third party proposed to be joined under SIAC Rules (2007 Edition) must be a party to the arbitration agreement. In that regard, the Court of Appeal noted that, by contrast, Rule 24(b) of the SIAC Rules (2010 and 2013 Edition) gives the tribunal the power to

upon the application of a party, allow one or more third parties to be joined in the arbitration, provided that such person is a party to the arbitration agreement, with the written consent of such third party, and thereafter make a single final award or separate awards in respect of all parties.

Finally, the Court also rejected the respondents’ arguments that the appellant’s continued participation in the arbitration proceedings amounted to a waiver of its right to object to the Tribunal’s jurisdiction. The Court observed that the party asserting the waiver must:

meet a high threshold of demonstrating that the adversely affected party’s conduct is only consistent with waiver and that the purported waiver had been communicated in clear and unequivocal terms.

The Court of Appeal therefore allowed the appeal and refused the enforcement of the arbitral award insofar as it concerned the sixth to eight respondents.

Arbitrability of intra-corporate disputes

The High Court examined the issue of the arbitrability of intra-corporate disputes in Silica Investors Limited v Tomolugen Holdings Limited and Others [2014] SGHC 101. The issue before the court was whether a minority oppression claim under s 216 of the Companies Act (CA) could be arbitrated.

The plaintiff (Silica) was the minority shareholder of the 8th defendant company (Auzminerals). The majority and controlling shareholder of Auzminerals was the first defendant (Tomolugen), which held approximately 55 per cent of the shares. Silica became a shareholder of Auzminerals when it purchased its shares from the second defendant (Lionsgate) under a share sale agreement and a supplemental agreement. Clause 12.3 of the share sale agreement provided for disputes between Silica and Lionsgate to be referred to arbitration at the SIAC.

Silica commenced a suit pursuant to section 216 of the CA alleging minority oppression by several of the defendants and seeking, among others, an order that Auzminerals be wound up pursuant to section 216(2)(f) of the Companies Act. Lionsgate applied for a stay of the court proceedings on the basis of the arbitration agreement.

The issues before the High Court were, among others, whether Silica’s claim fell within the scope of the arbitration clause; and if so, whether Silica’s claim for relief against minority oppression is arbitrable. Having found that Silica’s claim fell within the scope of the arbitration clause, the High Court proceeded to consider whether the claim was arbitrable. The High Court referred to section 12(5) of the IAA, which provides that the arbitral tribunal ‘may award any remedy or relief that could have been ordered by the High Court if the dispute had been the subject of civil proceedings in that Court’, and noted that section 12(5) cannot be construed as conferring upon arbitral tribunals the power to grant all statute-based remedies or reliefs available to the High Court. An arbitral tribunal clearly cannot exercise the coercive powers of the courts or make awards in rem or bind third parties to the arbitration agreement.

It was held that some statutory claims andremedies were solely within the purview of the courts (eg, winding-up, granting a judgment in rem in admiralty matters, avoidance claims, bankruptcy and matrimonial matters, and criminal prosecutions). However, this did not mean that such a claim was automatically rendered non-arbitrable. Instead, it was observed that such claim might well straddle the line between arbitrability and non-arbitrability depending on the facts of the case, the manner in which the claim was framed, and the remedy or relief sought.

The High Court took the view that whether a minority oppression action under section 216 of the Companies Act was arbitrable would depend on all the facts and circumstances of the case. Generally, minority oppression claims are non-arbitrable except in cases where the court was satisfied that all the relevant parties (including third parties whose interests may be affected) are parties to the arbitration, and the remedy or relief sought was one that only affected the parties to the arbitration.

In the present case, the High Court held that Silica’s minority oppression claim was non-arbitrable because there were relevant parties, including other shareholders, who were not parties to the arbitration. Further, Silica had asked for remedies that the arbitral tribunal had no power to grant, including an order for winding up.

Subpoenas issued to compel production of documents in aid of arbitration

In The Lao People’s Democratic Republic v Sanum Investments Ltd & Anor [2013] SGHC 183, the High Court was asked to issue subpoenas compelling the production of documents relating to an audit in order to assist in international investment arbitrations seated in Singapore.

The subpoena applications were filed in connection with:

  • an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute arbitration seated in Singapore between Lao Holdings NV (Lao Holdings) and Laos; and
  • an arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules seated in Singapore between Sanum Investments Ltd (Sanum Investments) and Laos.

Both concerned claims brought by Lao Holdings and Sanum Investments as investors (Foreign Investors) against Laos for alleged infractions of the investment treaties in relation to their casino and other gaming investments in Laos, one of which concerned the Savan Vegas project (Savan Vegas). A dispute arose between the Foreign Investors and the local partners to the investments (ST) in 2011. ST sought to obtain access to all financial and operational documents relating to Savan Vegas but was refused by the Foreign Investors. A government audit of Savan Vegas was ordered and carried out by officials from the Laotian Ministry of Finance, local tax officials and designated members of an accounting firm. The Foreign Investors alleged that the audit was improper because, among others, the accountants had no relevant experience and were thus unqualified to carry out the audit, and that the audit had been driven by an improper purpose.

An audit report was produced on 20 July 2012. The Foreign Investors alleged that, as a result of the audit, the Laotian central government began issuing demands for payments of various tax debts amounting to approximately US$23.8 million. The Foreign Investors and Laos all agreed that the documents relating to the accountants’ participation in the audit were relevant and material to the arbitration proceedings, and agreed to make a joint request that the accounting firm provide various itemised documents or classes of documents. However, the accounting firm refused to release the documents and subpoena applications were accordingly filed.

Section 13 of the IAA read with order 69A rule 7 of the Rules of Court confers upon the Singapore courts the power to issue subpoenas to compel persons within Singapore to testify or to produce documents to an arbitral tribunal.

The requirements for the issuance of a subpoena to produce documents are stringent: what is sought must be relevant, material and necessary for the fair disposal of the matter. The High Court noted that, for the purposes of the arbitrations, the contemporaneous records of work done by the accounting firm during the audit would be relevant in revealing the state of affairs of Savan Vegas at the time of the inspection. The emails, notes, memoranda and work papers sought from the accounting firm would also shed light on the circumstances of its appointment and the audit, given that propriety of the audit was in issue.

The High Court accepted that the proprietary and confidential nature of an accountant’s working papers imposed on the court a duty to be utterly scrupulous in ensuring that it was satisfied as to the relevance of the documents. However, issues of confidentiality and privacy were simply relevant factors that the court would consider when deciding whether to order production in cases such as the present. On the facts, the High Court was satisfied that the documents sought were of such high relevance and materiality to the issues raised in the arbitrations that the interests of justice outweighed the potential invasion into the confidentiality and privacy of a third party.

The High Court disagreed with the accounting firm’s argument that the subpoenas sought were framed too widely and considered that the application was sufficiently precise for one to know what documents were expected of him to produce. The High Court was also satisfied that this was not an application for third party discovery in aid of arbitration (which it did not have the power to order) disguised as a subpoena to produce documents. As a result, it held that the subpoena applications were proper but ordered that the wording of the subpoenas be amended by deleting the words ‘including’ or ‘any and all’ to narrow down the language of the application.

Power of court to grant permanent anti-suit injunction in arbitration proceedings

In R1 International Pte Ltd v Lonstroff AG [2014] SGHC 69, the plaintiff (R1 International) and defendant (Lonstroff) were both business entities who dealt with each other on a number of transactions under which the plaintiff sold, and the defendant bought, consignments of rubber. A dispute arose from one of the orders and Lonstroff commenced proceedings in the courts of Switzerland. R1 International then commenced proceedings in Singapore to obtain an anti-suit injunction preventing Lonstroff from continuing the Swiss proceedings in breach of the Singapore Commodity Exchange (SICOM) arbitration clause. An interim injunction to this effect was made which Lonstroff then applied to discharge. R1 International applied for the anti-suit injunction to be made permanent.

The first question before the High Court was whether the applicable contract between the parties in fact contained an arbitration clause. The High Court held that the arbitration clause had not been incorporated into the contract and, accordingly, there was no basis to grant a permanent anti-suit injunction, or sustain the interim injunction as sought by R1 International.

Although the High Court’s finding above disposed of the matter, it went on to consider the issue dealt with extensively by parties (ie, whether it had the power to grant a permanent anti-suit injunction).

The High Court concluded that it did have the power to grant a permanent anti-suit injunction in aid of domestic international arbitrations (ie, international arbitrations with their seat in Singapore). However, it did not express any concluded opinion on whether it had the power to issue permanent anti-suit injunctions in aid of foreign international arbitrations (ie, international arbitrations with their seat outside Singapore).

The High Court held that the power to grant permanent anti-suit injunctions in aid of domestic international arbitrations was derived under section 4(10) of the Civil Law Act (CLA). This is the power that the court exercises when it grants a permanent anti-suit injunction in aid of local court proceedings and the High Court saw no reason why this power could not be exercised to make permanent anti-suit injunctions in aid of domestic international arbitration proceedings.

As to whether the Court could grant a permanent anti-suit injunction in aid of a foreign international arbitration, the High Court expressed no concluded opinion. The High Court observed that section 12A(2) read with section 12(1)(i) of the IAA gave it the power to grant interim injunctions, even in aid of foreign international arbitration proceedings, and it would be logical and consistent to hold that the court had power under the more wide-ranging law in section 4(10) of the CLA to issue permanent anti-suit injunctions in such cases. However, the High Court noted that Singapore courts should not be an international busybody and that it was only when strong reasons were present that the courts would intervene with a permanent anti-suit injunction in support of foreign international arbitrations (eg, in a situation where the arbitration forum did not provide for effective interim measures in support of arbitration).


  1. Minister K Shanmugam’s Keynote Address at the Inaugural SIAC Congress 2014 on 6 June 2014.
  2. SIAC Annual Report 2013.

Unlock unlimited access to all Global Arbitration Review content