On February 1, 2016, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) released draft rules tailored to investment arbitration (Draft SIAC Rules), to be finalized in May following public consultation.
Similarly to the Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor–State Arbitration adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law in 2013 (UNCITRAL Transparency Rules), Rule 28 of the Draft SIAC Rules contains specific provisions on the participation of non-disputing parties. A non-disputing party that is a party to the contract or treaty has a prima facie right to make certain written submissions. However, submissions by a non-disputing party that is not a party to the contract or treaty are subject to the tribunal’s approval, depending on the confidentiality of proceedings, the extent that such submissions will bring a different perspective to relevant legal or factual matters, and whether the non-disputing party has a “sufficient interest” in the proceedings.
The Draft IA Rules do not directly address the issue of transparency, however. Unlike the UNCITRAL Transparency Rules, the Draft IA Rules do not contemplate either publication of information upon commencement of arbitral proceedings or publication of arbitration-related documents. They also do not provide that arbitration proceedings be made public.
The Draft SIAC Rules mirror SIAC’s commercial arbitration procedure in certain respects, for instance: upon receipt of a notice of arbitration, the SIAC’s Court of Arbitration must appoint an arbitrator within 28 days (Rules 6 and 7); and, there are strict timelines for arbitral challenges to be made and ruled on (Rule 12). Also, upon express agreement of the parties, the Draft SIAC Rules provide for SIAC to appoint an “emergency arbitrator” to determine interim relief prior to the constitution of the main tribunal.
Finally, the Draft SIAC Rules address third-party funding: a tribunal may order disclosure of a third-party funding arrangement (Rule 23), and may consider any such arrangements in apportioning arbitration costs (Rule 32).
The Draft SIAC Rules are available at http://www.siac.org.sg.
Notes: The editorial team acknowledges, with many thanks, the contribution by Matthew Levine.