Implementation of the Singapore Convention: Federalism, Self-Execution, and Private Law Treaties

30 Am. Rev. Int'l Arb., 265 (2020)

25 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2019 Last revised: 7 Apr 2020

Date Written: January 22, 2019


This article addresses the question of U.S. implementation of the Singapore Convention on Mediation (more formally titled the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation), a new multilateral treaty that contains a framework for the cross-border recognition and enforcement of mediated settlements.

The United States has pursued implementation of other private law treaties in three ways. First, for some private law treaties, clarification has been needed regarding the treaty’s interaction with existing federal law or uniform state law. In such cases, federal legislation to implement the treaty has been used (or proposed) to integrate the treaty’s rules with the earlier statutory regime. Second, some private law treaties may be perceived to alter the balance between state and federal law significantly enough that a cooperative federalism approach — incorporating both state and federal legislation using conditional preemption — may be seen as the most prudent course for implementation. Third, any other private law treaties not falling into either of the first two categories have been treated as self-executing.

After providing a brief overview of the Singapore Convention, this article explains why U.S. ratification of the Convention would be beneficial and why, in light of past practice, the most appropriate approach for implementation is to treat the Convention as being self-executing.

Keywords: UNCITRAL, mediation, treaties, self-execution, private law, federalism

Suggested Citation

Schnabel, Timothy, Implementation of the Singapore Convention: Federalism, Self-Execution, and Private Law Treaties (January 22, 2019). 30 Am. Rev. Int'l Arb., 265 (2020), Available at SSRN:

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