Singapore Mediation Centre – Then, Now, and the Future
The Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) recently celebrated its 20th anniversary in August 2017.
Let us look back at the historical milestones and achievements that have made SMC what it is today, and where SMC is heading towards the future:
1. Then Attorney-General Chan Sek Keong proposed the establishment of a commercial mediation centre in Singapore at the Opening of the Legal Year in 1996, a centre dedicated to the promotion of amicable and efficient settlement of disputes.
2. SMC was formed under the Singapore Academy of Law to provide commercial mediation services for civil disputes. It was launched by former Chief Justice Yong Pung How on 16 August 1997.
3. SMC’s training arm conducts training abroad. The first overseas mediation workshop was held in 1999 in Malaysia, and since then, workshops have been held as far away as Europe and the Middle East. SMC has since trained in every ASEAN country.
4. Adjudications under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payments Act (Cap 30B) have been offered since 2005 when SMC was appointed the Authorised Nominating Body.
5. In 2007, SMC was instrumental in the founding of the Asian Mediation Association (AMA) and the International Mediation Institute (IMI). AMA provides a forum for Asian mediation organisations to exchange ideas and collaborate on promoting mediation while IMI seeks to professionalise mediation worldwide and to promote consensus and access to justice.
6. The Singapore Mediation Charter was launched in 2011 to encourage companies to mediate first in the event of disputes. Over 100 companies have since pledged to do so.
7. The inaugural Singapore Mediation Lecture was held in 2012, in collaboration with Harry Elias Partnership LLP (now Eversheds Harry Elias LLP) and Singapore Management University, with the late former President of the Republic of Singapore Mr S R Nathan as the first distinguished speaker.
8. After rebranding in 2014, we launched our signature event – Unfolding Conversations, an invite-only event for C-suite guests.
9. In 2016, SMC co-hosted the first of the Global Pound Conference (GPC) series. The series was created to start conversations on improving the access and quality of justice in civil and commercial conflicts worldwide. GPC conferences have since been held in 31 countries.
10. The highest case load of 499 mediation matters was lodged in 2016. The case load for the first half of this year has grown a further 20% compared to the same period last year.
11. To promote mediation in legal education, SMC now sponsors a prize for the top mediation students from the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Management University called the Singapore Mediation Centre Prize.
12. SMC will be moving into Online Dispute Resolution soon. Watch this space!
For more information on mediation, please visit http://www.mediation.com.sg/.
To view our 20th Anniversary video for more insights and untold stories, please click here.
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September 2017 Issue. For past issues, read more here.