The Singapore Convention for Mediation: From Promotion to Workable Standards by Way of New York

23 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2020

See all articles by James Claxton

James Claxton

Waseda University; Rikkyo University

Date Written: June 3, 2020


The Singapore Convention for mediation, which will come into force in September 2020, is often compared to the 1958 New York Convention for arbitration. The treaties share the common purpose of giving the force of international law to private means of disputes resolution. Under their terms, courts will enforce arbitral awards and mediated settlement agreements that resolve international commercial disputes. The New York Convention is considered to be the primary driver behind the success of international commercial arbitration. Supporters of the Singapore Convention hope that treaty will lead to similar success for international commercial mediation. While the New York Convention inspired the Singapore Convention and influenced its terms, there are key differences between the instruments and the processes they empower. This article analyzes those differences and considers how international commercial mediation might develop under the Singapore Convention from this vantage point. The analysis has implications for participants in mediations, courts applying the convention, and states considering whether to accede to the convention and make treaty reservations. The conclusion offers three broad prescriptions that would enhance the practical benefit of the convention beyond its value as a tool of promotion.

Keywords: singapore convention, new york convention, mediation, arbitration, adr, alternative dispute resolution, enforcement, settlement agreement

JEL Classification: k33, k40, k41, k20, k10

Suggested Citation

Claxton, James, The Singapore Convention for Mediation: From Promotion to Workable Standards by Way of New York (June 3, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

James Claxton (Contact Author)

Waseda University ( email )

1-104 Totsukamachi, Shinjuku-ku
Tokyo, 169-8050

Rikkyo University ( email )

3-chome Nishi-ikebukuro
Tokyo, 171-0021

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