Introduction: On 5 Nov 2014 Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) was launched to complement Singapore’s existing international dispute settlement alternatives. Collaborating with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), SIMC introduced the Arb-Med-Arb Protocol (AMA Protocol) to combine the two most effective dispute resolution mechanisms. The main aim of this teaming up was to encourage and promote mediation within international arbitration.
Beginning with the start of arbitration procedures under the aegis of SIAC, the AMA Protocol can be split into three parts. Once the arbitral tribunal has been formed, the arbitration will stay, and SIAC will immediately submit the matter to SIMC for mediation. After the referral, the mediation must be completed within eight weeks. If the parties successfully resolve their dispute during mediation, they may next request that the arbitral tribunal issued a consent award based on the conditions of their settlement. If the issue cannot be resolved through mediation, the stay of the arbitration proceedings may be removed, and the arbitral panel may resume the arbitration procedures.
In Singapore, parties can employ the AMA Protocol by including the model Arb-Med-Arb clause (the "Model Clause") in their contracts, referring to disputes to the SIAC and SIMC for arbitration and mediation. For the time being, recent trends indicate that combining arbitration and mediation yields even more significant benefits. The procedure is simple: one party submits an arbitration request, and the arbitration proceedings are stopped, and the case is transferred to mediation as soon as the panel is formed.
Advantages of AMA: One of the foremost being, Timing. Before bringing a disagreement to arbitration, many dispute resolution agreements require the parties to reach an agreement. Some even go so far as to say that arbitration can only be sought after a mediation procedure has failed. In Med-Arb-Med, on the other hand, the tribunal is already in existence and can go to work considerably more quickly if mediation fails. Suppose the dispute resolution provision specifies a maximum duration for mediation – usually about 60 days – that is, the amount of time added to the settlement and nothing more.
The second being, Enforceability. If a mediation agreement is achieved, it will be rendered enforceable under the New York Convention. It will be recorded in an arbitration decision that qualifies under the New York Convention.
The third is Impartiality. Many arbitration rules provide that the arbitrators must attempt to resolve or reconcile the dispute. This is alright as long as the settlement discussions are facilitated. When it comes to mediation, however, the instruments used by mediators are different. They can hold ex-parte talks in which they can learn more about each party than an arbitrator could. In traditional Med-Arb processes, for example, it is frequently stated that the arbitrator should first attempt to mediate the issue. As a result, the information they gather about the parties may have an impact on their impartiality. The tribunal and mediator in Med-Arb-Med procedures should be distinct to ensure neutrality.
Fourth is Consistency. Because the same institution will conduct the mediation in Med-Arb-Med proceedings as the arbitration, their rules will provide for the same confidentiality and the same choice of law and venue. The procedures will be aligned, and the same caseworkers will handle the matter at the institution.
Conclusion: SIMC and SIAC together introduced the Arb-Med-Arb proceedings with 15 articles in AMA Protocol. Since then, other institutions have followed suit, generally with less of a process and instead relying on a contract's expanded arbitration clause. This initiative has many advantages and can work efficiently only if parties opt for this sort of process. Combining both powerful tools of dispute resolution can be a win-win for disputed parties.
(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 Foundation shall not be responsible for any errors caused due to human error or otherwise.)