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Through the Looking Glass: An Insider's Perspective into the Making of the Singapore Convention on Mediation

Khory McCormick & Sharon S M Ong

(2019) 31 SAcLJ 520

A new multilateral convention, which provides a uniform and efficient framework for the enforcement of international settlement agreements resulting from mediation and for allowing parties to invoke such agreements, was concluded under the auspices of the United Nations organisation last year and will be opened for signature on 7 August 2019 in Singapore. The United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, also known as the “Singapore Convention on Mediation”, and its complementary Model Law, were the product of the work of UNCITRAL Working Group II (Dispute Settlement) after just six sessions. This article provides an insider’s perspective into how this became possible. It surveys the context within which the Working Group undertook its mandate, examines the specific approach of the Working Group in carrying out its subject mandate, and traces the evolution of the instruments from context to content. The article concludes with a study of the five issues which formed the compromise, a linchpin of the making of the Singapore Convention on Mediation.