The Lawyer reports that Singapore’s new chief justice, Sundaresh Menon, is investigating the possibility of establishing the Singapore International Commercial Court.
A working group is being set up under Justice V K Rajah and the senior minister of state law, Indranee Rajah to investigate this extension of Singapore’s role as a hub for international dispute resolution. I sat next to Justice Rajah at a dinner 18 months or so ago and found him eloquent on the subject of Singapore’s wider role, not just in the provision of dispute resolution services, but in legal education.
Singapore law, he told me, is “British law uncorrupted by the EU”. An even bigger selling point, in my view, is the efficiency which Singapore brings to the provision of the infrastructure and environment to support legal services, and the way it has recently set about encouraging international law firms to expand in Singapore.
A 2012 report by the UK Ministry of Justice drew attention to the threat posed to London as a dispute resolution centre by other jurisdictions. Singapore was one of those mentioned and, in my view, the only one with the credibility to carry it off.