International Commercial Courts: The Singapore Experience
Melbourne Journal of International Law, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2017
41 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2018 Last revised: 16 May 2018
Date Written: December 31, 2017
The last decade or so has seen the emergence of international commercial courts in four jurisdictions: the Dubai International Financial Centre ('DIFC') Courts in the DIFC, the Qatar International Court in the Qatar Financial Centre, the Abu Dhabi Global Market ('ADGM') Courts in the ADGM and the Singapore International Commercial Court ('SICC') in Singapore. Described as courts that are ‘particularly attuned to the needs and realities of international commerce’, these courts are inspired in part by the London Commercial Court and have some unique features when compared with domestic courts. For example, their judicial bench includes judges from various foreign jurisdictions. In addition, their rules and procedures cater to commercial disputes involving foreign litigants and transnational and cross-border disputes that often have little or no connection to the state within which the court is situated. Further, foreign lawyers have greater rights of audience than in traditional domestic courts with the result that, in some cases, the parties, counsel and judges all come from different jurisdictions. Given the experience of these courts to date and the likelihood that further international commercial courts will be established, it is both useful and timely to examine key issues concerning their institutional design and perceived benefits. This paper uses the SICC as the case study for an examination of these key issues.
Keywords: international commercial courts; international dispute resolution; litigation; cross-border disputes; Singapore International Commercial Court; SICC; DIFC Courts; Civil and Commercial Court of the Qatar Financial Centre; Qatar International Court
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