Earlier this week, Singapore’s Law Minister, K. Shanmugam, told delegates at the 21st International Council for Commercial Arbitration (“ICCA“) Congress that Singapore is planning to open an International Arbitration Academy where lawyers from the region can be trained in international arbitration.
The Academy is being planned by the Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore (“NUS“) and NUS’s Law Faculty and is expected to enrol 60 participants in its first year. The three-week training course will be targeted at private practitioners, in-house counsel and government officials who want to develop their arbitration knowledge and skills.
This is yet a further step in Singapore’s move to be a leading player in international arbitration and the preferred venue to settle commercial disputes in Asia. While similar academies exist in places such as Paris, Cologne, Switzerland and London, this academy is set to be Asia’s leading arbitration school. In his speech, Mr Shanmugam made it clear that Singapore intends to position itself not only as a arbitration centre for common-law countries like India, Malaysia and Brunei, but also for civil-law countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and China. Mr Shanmugam said:
“In a region where arbitration is set to grow even more dramatically in the coming years, the Academy fills a gap in the training and formation of practitioners by giving them an insight into real life issues they will encounter with an emphasis on practical learning from a cross-cultural perspective.”