Addressing our first overseas visitors since the start of the pandemic, SIMC CEO Chuan Wee Meng gave a presentation to a delegation led by the Sri Lankan Minister of Justice H.E. Ali Sabry on Tuesday, February 15.
Also present were Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Singapore, H.E. Sashikala Premawardhane; Attorney-at-Law and Coordinating Secretary to the Honourable Minister of Justice, Shamir Zavahir; Chief Legal Advisor (Court Automation Sub-committee) of the Ministry of Justice, Navin Marapana; First Secretary of the Sri Lankan High Commission, Madusanka Jayasinghe, and Director General, Institute of National Security Studies, Dr Rohan Gunaratna. The delegation also heard presentations by the Ministry of Law, Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC).
We shared our experiences during the pandemic – online/hybrid mediations have risen against the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Notably, the number of cases mediated at SIMC have nearly doubled in 2020 over 2019. The average value of disputes now is US$29M, with a settlement rate of 70-80%. This suggests that parties (1) are keen to resolve their disputes efficiently and expeditiously in times of uncertainty; (2) have confidence in the process and finality of settlement in mediation.
We also expressed our appreciation of Sri Lanka’s efforts to promote mediation, noting that Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to sign the Singapore Convention on Mediation when it opened for signature on 7 August 2019. We hope Sri Lanka will ratify the Convention soon. Meanwhile, we look forward to collaboration opportunities with Sri Lankan dispute resolution institutions and law firms.