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The Singapore Convention: A Solution in Search of a Problem?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Bryan Clark



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Queen's University School of Law, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This paper explores the purpose and efficacy of the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (‘Singapore Convention’ or ‘Convention’). The Convention’s genesis was premised on the notion of alleviating the enforceability issues that are annexed to settlement agreements arising from cross-border mediation (IMSA). While such enforceability issues are not entirely unfounded, the way in which the Convention has been drafted to address such issues has been the subject of criticism. In view of such criticism, this article explores the empirical research upon which the Convention’s introduction is based and queries whether the structure of the instrument heralds an unnecessary juridification of the mediation process. In particular, a close review of the research highlights the unintended consequences that can flow from the Convention’s uptake, suggesting that the introduction of the Convention may lead to an increase in issues pertaining to IMSA enforcement. It is in this context in which this article submits that the Convention may be regarded as a solution in search of a problem.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clark B, Sourdin T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly

Year: 2020

Volume: 71

Issue: 3

Pages: 481-499

Online publication date: 05/11/2020

Acceptance date: 26/10/2020

Date deposited: 26/10/2020

ISSN (print): 0029-3105

Publisher: Queen's University School of Law