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Emergency Arbitration In Singapore


Many countries have seen an increase in the use of emergency arbitrator applications, including Singapore. Between July 2010 and now, 37 arbitrator applications have been made to SIAC for urgent hearings. Arbitrators may be appointed within one business day of being requested to take up a role as an emergency arbitrator and hear claims brought by plaintiffs who need to be heard and decisions that must be issued as promptly as possible.

As it is evident from the fact that SIAC has made 37 emergency arbitrator appointments since the implementation of the emergency arbitrator process in the SIAC Rules, parties are rapidly becoming used to and rely on such procedures as a reliable and efficient interim relief method. An increase in emergency arbitrator proceedings, alongside court proceedings, has contributed to a higher rate of compliance in cases where the relief sought was granted, confirming the increased prevalence of emergency arbitrator proceedings as an effective way of obtaining speedy justice in a fast-paced world.


The case of Singapore and Hong Kong are excellent examples of Asian states providing for explicit recognition of emergency arbitrator rulings. By broadening the definition of "arbitral tribunal" under the Act, the Singapore International Arbitration Act has helped expand the list of people who may act as emergency arbitrators. However, in contrast to Hong Kong, which has added Part 3A to its Arbitration Ordinance, which includes the authority to recognise and enforce any emergency relief granted by an emergency arbitrator anywhere in the world under the relevant arbitration rules, Beijing has instead amended the regulation to take out Part 3A.

There is a legal anomaly that has emerged due to some defining discrepancies in each jurisdiction's laws. An emergency arbitrator order sitting in Singapore has acceptance and execution in Hong Kong. Still, it does not exist in the other direction.

Notable examples of jurisdictions in which interim relief awarded in arbitration have been recognised and enforced include the United States. Several court judgments have held and enforced temporary relief imposed by an emergency arbitrator. Another excellent example of this is Yahoo Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation.

Practice shows that although legal enforceability is an essential consideration in making emergency arbitrator decisions, it is not the only one. While many argue that giving cash as an incentive encourages defaulters to be compliant, research suggests that cash compensation is most successful in promoting compliance when an arbitrator's ruling is in danger of being challenged on merit in the leading case before the arbitral tribunal.


In the event of an emergency arbitrator procedure, there is no 'hard and fast way to determine whether a matter has or has not been settled. Still, this technique can deliver practical answers in situations of urgent need.

Additionally, because the SIAC Rules do not allow for an ex parte procedure before an emergency arbitrator, the element of surprise is lost, thus making the applicant, for example, a claimant seeking a freezing order that is out of reach. The issue, however, is taken care of by the fact that a party's behaviour in the proceedings will be subjected to direct inspection by both the emergency arbitrator and the arbitral tribunal once the dispute has been sent to arbitration.

One of the significant limitations of arbitration procedures in cases of urgency is the lack of interim remedy against third parties to the arbitration agreement instead of civil cases in which temporary relief is available.

This article is based purely on the author's personal views and opinions in exercising the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) and other related laws being a force in India for the time being. Further, despite all efforts made to ensure the accuracy and correctness of the information published, the white code VIA Mediation and arbitration centre shall not be responsible for any errors caused due to human error or otherwise.



This Article Does Not Intend To Hurt The Sentiments Of Any Individual Community, Sect, Or Religion Etcetera. This Article Is Based Purely On The Authors Personal Views And Opinions In The Exercise Of The Fundamental Right Guaranteed Under Article 19(1)(A) And Other Related Laws Being Force In India, For The Time Being. Further, despite all efforts made to ensure the accuracy and correctness of the information published, White Code VIA Mediation and Arbitration Centre shall not be responsible for any errors caused due to human error or otherwise.

  • Introduction
  • Enforcement
  • Conclusion

BY : Friyana damania

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