On 18 March at the International Law Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), an invitation-only workshop was held to discuss issues related to China signing and ratifying the United Nations (UN) Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (Singapore Mediation Convention or Convention). Among the attendees of the workshop were persons from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Supreme People’s Court, and National People’s Congress, Foreign Affairs College and Shanghai office of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. Susan Finder, STL Distinguished Scholar in Residence, was one of the organizers of the workshop, along with Mr. Wen Xiantao, section head of the Department of Treaties and Law of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and official Chinese negotiator of the Singapore Convention and Sun Wei, Zhong Lun partner and participant in the Convention negotiations as part of Beijing Arbitration Commission’s delegation to the negotiations as with observer status.
The Singapore Mediation Convention is intended to complement the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the New York Convention, and when it goes into force, will enable international commercial settlement agreements that result from (third party) mediation to be enforced. Professor Finder, who chaired on of the sections of the workshop, invited Adrian Hughes, QC and Helen Tang (Shanghai-based disputes partner of Herbert Smith Freehills) in the room to be able to speak first hand about the process of and advantages of commercial mediation in international commercial dispute resolution, as well as the enforcement process in the courts of England and Wales.
The closed-door and invitation-only format enabled an interactive discussion among all participants. Among the many issues discussed were the implications for the courts, preventing the enforcement of fraudulent mediation settlements, and the lack of a law in China relating to commercial mediation.
(Photo Credit: Institute of Law)