In arbitration, one person or panel decide how the dispute should be resolved after hearing all sides of the issues and studying the evidence as presented by the parties, who are usually represented by their lawyers.
Of all forms of dispute resolution, arbitration is most similar to a trial in that the parties make opening statements and present evidence to the arbitrator, who serves as the judge. When arbitration is binding, the court may review the final decision on a very limited basis. When arbitration is non-binding, the decision is advisory and becomes final only upon acceptance by both parties.
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An arbitration is considered international if:
(a) at least one of the parties to an arbitration agreement, at the time of the conclusion of the agreement, has its place of business in any State other than Singapore; or
(b) one of the following places is situated outside the State in which the parties have their places of business;
(i) the place of arbitration is determined in, or pursuant to, the arbitration agreement;
(ii) any place which a substantial part of the obligations of the commercial relationship is to be performed or the place with which the subject matter of the dispute is most closely connected; or
(c) the parties have expressly agreed that the subject-matter of the arbitration agreement relates to more than one country.
In order to commence arbitration, you will need to prepare and submit a Notice of Arbitration or a Request for Arbitration to the relevant arbitral tribunal and on the other side.
If the arbitration is to be commenced in the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), then you should note that Rule 3.1 of the SIAC Rules provide that a Notice of Arbitration must contain the following:
(a) a demand that the dispute be referred to arbitration;
(b) the names, addresses, telephone numbers, facsimile numbers and electronic mail addresses, if known, of the parties and their representatives, if any;
(c) a reference to the arbitration clause or the separate arbitration agreement that is invoked, and a photocopy of that agreement;
(d) a reference to the contract or document out of or in relation to which the dispute arises, and a photocopy of it;
(e) a brief statement describing the nature and circumstances of the dispute, specifying the relief claimed and, where possible, an initial quantification of the claim amount;
(f) a statement of any matters which the parties have previously agreed as to the conduct of the arbitration or with respect to which the claimant wishes to make a proposal;
(g) a proposal for the number of arbitrators if this is not specified in the arbitration agreement;
(h) unless the parties have agreed otherwise, the nomination of an arbitrator if the arbitration agreement provides for three arbitrators, or a proposal for a sole arbitrator if the arbitration agreement provides for a sole arbitrator;
(i) any comment as to the applicable rules of law;
(j) any comment as to the language of the arbitration; and
(k) payment of the requisite filing fees.
An International Arbitration Award may, with the permission of a High Court Judge, be enforced in the same manner as a judgment of the Singapore High Court, and judgment may be entered in terms of the International Arbitration award.
Any International Arbitration award is final and binding on the parties.