Singapore Mediation Convention, when does it not apply?

The Singapore Mediation Convention – When does it not apply?

As discussed in our previous article (insert link), The Singapore Mediation Convention applies to international settlement agreements resulting from mediation and concluded in writing by parties to resolve a commercial dispute.

In what circumstances the Singapore Mediation Convention will NOT apply?

The Singapore Mediation Convention will not apply to settlement agreements which:

  • relate to consumer transactions, family, inheritance and/or employment law;
  • have been approved or concluded by a court in formal court proceedings, and have been recorded as enforceable as a judgment in the State of that court; or
  • have been recorded and are enforceable as an arbitral award.

Exceptions to the Singapore Mediation Convention

  • The courts in the Contracting States may refuse to enforce the settlement agreement in certain circumstances, including:
    • where a party to the settlement agreement was acting under incapacity;
    • the settlement agreement is null and void, or incapable of being performed;
    • the settlement agreement is not binding or final, according to its terms;
    • the settlement agreement has been subsequently varied or modified;
    • the obligations under the settlement agreement have not been performed;
    • the obligations under the settlement agreement are not clear and comprehensible;
    • granting relief would be contrary to the terms of the settlement agreement;
    • there was a serious breach by the mediator of standards applicable to the mediator or the mediation in question;
    • there was a failure by the mediator to disclose to the parties circumstances that raise justifiable doubts as to the mediator’s impartiality or independence, and such failure had a material impact or undue influence on a party;
    • granting relief would be contrary to the public policy of that State; or
    • the subject matter of the dispute is not capable of settlement by mediation under the law of that State.

Last but not least, it is important to remember that the Singapore Mediation Convention will not apply if: 

  • the settlement is not the result from a mediation (i.e it will not apply to settlement achieved through arbitrations or litigations);
  • the settlement agreement is not signed and is not in writing;
  • the parties are located in any of the Contracting States; or
  • the Contracting State in question has not acceded to or ratified the Convention.