It has been an eventful start for the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators (SIArb) for 2018.
We continue to be blessed with leading arbitrators sharing their knowledge at our events. I had the privilege of Chairing Professor Lawrence Boo’s talk on the developments in Singapore Arbitration in January 2018. It was an invigorating session with Prof Boo sharing his thoughts on landmark Singapore decisions such as Kingdom of Lesotho v Swissbourgh Diamond Mines (Pty) Limited & 8 othes  SGHC 195 in which the Singapore High Court set aside an investor-state arbitration award. February brought us an insightful session on Oil & Gas Arbitration by Mr Shourav Lahiri, Director, Lahiri LLC. I encourage all of you to also attend the upcoming session on 28 March on The Anatomy of Concurrent Evidence or Witness Conferencing, aka “Hot Tubbing”. Professor Leslie Chew will share with us the objective and mechanics of witness conferencing.
The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) released stellar results for 2017 last week. There has been a 32% increase in cases filed and it has truly become a global player in the arbitration space with disputing parties coming from not only Asia, but also the Middle East and Europe and the United States. First and foremost, credit must go to the SIAC leadership and teams past and present for its continued success. However, SIAC's success and its ability to continue succeeding is also driven by the underlying arbitration ecosystem that has been carefully nurtured over the years in Singapore. Our judiciary has played an integral role in shaping the "Singapore brand" through the quality of its decisions relating to international arbitration. The Arbitration Bar has also played an integral role by constantly striving to raise our standards of practice and Singapore Lawyers are more than holding their own against the best of international arbitration Lawyers. Credit must also go to the Government in ensuring timely necessary changes to arbitration legislation and supporting the development of Maxwell Chambers.
As the Asia Pacific is a global leader in terms of infrastructure and economic development, there is every reason to be optimistic about SIAC's future prospects to do even better. The fact that Maxwell Chambers is expanding will support this. Ultimately, the future success of SIAC will depend on all key players in the arbitration ecosystem continuing to innovate and work together. Thought leadership and not losing sight of the fact that the objective of international arbitration is justice (in not only outcomes but process) for the end users - the clients, is key.
In this regard, SIArb must also continue to do its part in this Singapore arbitration ecosystem. We will be looking to see how to improve our course offerings, our CPD events and how we can create more platforms for our members to learn, exchange ideas and provide thought leadership. I look forward to seeing all of you at our upcoming events.