Singapore to Create International Arbitration Academy
In keeping with its standing as a major center for international commerce and banking, Singapore will create and host the Singapore International Arbitration Academy in the second half of 2012.
The 16-day academy aims to help international lawyers and other interested parties develop their skills in commercial arbitration, financial arbitration, legal arbitration, and other areas of international arbitration.
The academy is a joint effort between the National University of Singapore and the Centre for International Law. Law Minister K Shanmugam said the academy is part of the country's efforts to further grow its arbitration sector.
The International Arbitration Academy will instruct government officials and arbitration attorneys (those in private practice, as well as in-house corporate arbitration lawyers) with a combination of lectures, theory, and skills training.
A center for worldwide trade, Singapore is especially active as a hub for transactions where one or more parties are East Asian business entities. There are a great many different practices, legal systems, and other factors that can make arbitration in the region difficult for arbitration attorneys who are used to just one, or two different legal systems.
The academy is an attempt to make arbitration easier on everyone. As Law Minister Shanmugam told reporters, "If you come to Singapore, you get a one-stop experience of the entire region."
The country has been handling an increasing number of cases via the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. In the first five months of 2012, the center saw to 118 new cases worth over $2 billion.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is encouraging lawyers and businesspeople in his country to see arbitration services as an industry in itself. He recently emphasized the nation's importance as an international arbitration hub at the International Council for Commercial Arbitration.