Arbitration Act

Coming into Force31 July 2002
Act Number(Original Enactment: Act 37 of 2001)
Enactment Date01 March 2002
Record NumberCap. 10
Published date31 July 2002
Arbitration Act

(Original Enactment: Act 37 of 2001)

(31st July 2002)
An Act to provide for the conduct of arbitration.
[1st March 2002]
Short title
1. This Act may be cited as the Arbitration Act.
2.—(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“appointing authority” means the appointing authority designated under section 13(8) or (9);
“arbitral tribunal” means a sole arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators or an arbitral institution, and includes an emergency arbitrator appointed pursuant to the rules of arbitration agreed to or adopted by the parties including the rules of arbitration of an institution or organisation;
[Act 12 of 2012 wef 01/06/2012]
“arbitration agreement” means an arbitration agreement referred to in section 4;
[Act 12 of 2012 wef 01/06/2012]
“award” means a decision of the arbitral tribunal on the substance of the dispute and includes any interim, interlocutory or partial award but excludes any order or direction made under section 28;
“Court” means the High Court in Singapore;
“court”, for the purposes of sections 6, 7, 8, 11(1), 55, 56 and 57, means the High Court, District Court, Magistrate’s Court or any other court in which the proceedings referred to in those sections are instituted or heard;
[Deleted by Act 12 of 2012 wef 01/06/2012]
[Deleted by Act 12 of 2012 wef 01/06/2012]
“party” means a party to an arbitration agreement or, in any case where an arbitration does not involve all of the parties to the arbitration agreement, means a party to the arbitration*;
* See section 9 of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act (Cap. 53B) on third parties who are treated as parties to an arbitration agreement.
“the place of the arbitration” means the juridical seat of the arbitration designated by —
(a) the parties to the arbitration agreement;
(b) any arbitral or other institution or person authorised by the parties for that purpose; or
(c) the arbitral tribunal as authorised by the parties,
or determined, in the absence of such designation, having regard to the arbitration agreement and all the relevant circumstances.
(2) Where any provision in this Act allows the parties to determine any issue, the parties may authorise a third party, including an arbitral institution, to make that determination.
(3) Where any provision in this Act refers to the fact that the parties have agreed or that they may agree or in any other way refers to an agreement of the parties, such agreement includes any arbitration rules incorporated in that agreement.
(4) Where any provision in this Act refers to a claim, it shall also apply to a cross-claim or counter-claim, and where such provision refers to a defence, it shall also apply to a defence to such cross-claim or counter-claim.
Application of this Act
3. This Act shall apply to any arbitration where the place of arbitration is Singapore and where Part II of the International Arbitration Act (Cap. 143A) does not apply to that arbitration.
Definition and form of arbitration agreement
4.—(1) In this Act, “arbitration agreement” means an agreement by the parties to submit to arbitration all or certain disputes which have arisen or which may arise between them in respect of a defined legal relationship, whether contractual or not.
(2) An arbitration agreement may be in the form of an arbitration clause in a contract or in the form of a separate agreement.
(3) An arbitration agreement shall be in writing.
(4) An arbitration agreement is in writing if its content is recorded in any form, whether or not the arbitration agreement or contract has been concluded orally, by conduct or by other means.
(5) The requirement that an arbitration agreement shall be in writing is satisfied by an electronic communication if the information contained therein is accessible so as to be useable for subsequent reference.
(6) Where in any arbitral or legal proceedings, a party asserts the existence of an arbitration agreement in a pleading, statement of case or any other document in circumstances in which the assertion calls for a reply and the assertion is not denied, there shall be deemed to be an effective arbitration agreement as between the parties to the proceedings.
(7) A reference in a contract to any document containing an arbitration clause shall constitute an arbitration agreement in writing if the reference is such as to make that clause part of the contract.
(8) A reference in a bill of lading to a charterparty or other document containing an arbitration clause shall constitute an arbitration agreement in writing if the reference is such as to make that clause part of the bill of lading.
(9) In this section —
“data message” means information generated, sent, received or stored by electronic, magnetic, optical or similar means, including, but not limited to, electronic data interchange (EDI), electronic mail, telegram, telex or telecopy;
“electronic communication” means any communication that the parties make by means of data messages.
[Act 12 of 2012 wef 01/06/2012]
Arbitration agreement not to be discharged by death of party
5.—(1) An arbitration agreement shall not be discharged by the death of any party to the agreement but shall continue to be enforceable by or against the personal representative of the deceased party.
(2) The authority of an arbitrator shall not be revoked by the death of any party by whom he was appointed.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be taken to affect the operation of any written law or rule of law by virtue of which any right of action is extinguished by the death of a person.
Stay of legal proceedings
6.—(1) Where any party to an arbitration agreement institutes any proceedings in any court against any other party to the agreement in respect of any matter which is the subject of the agreement, any party to the agreement may, at any time after appearance and before delivering any pleading or taking any other step in the proceedings, apply to that court to stay the proceedings so far as the proceedings relate to that matter.
(2) The court to which an application has been made in accordance with subsection (1) may, if the court is satisfied that —
(a) there is no sufficient reason why the matter should not be referred in accordance with the arbitration agreement; and
(b) the applicant was, at the time when the proceedings were commenced, and still remains, ready and willing to do all things necessary to the proper conduct of the arbitration,
make an order, upon such terms as the court thinks fit, staying the proceedings so far as the proceedings relate to that matter.
(3) Where a court makes an order under subsection (2), the court may, for the purpose of preserving the rights of parties, make such interim or supplementary orders as the court thinks fit in relation to any property which is or forms part of the subject of the dispute to which the order under that subsection relates.
(4) Where no party to the proceedings has taken any further step in the proceedings for a period of not less than 2 years after an order staying the proceedings has been made, the court may, on its own motion, make an order discontinuing the proceedings without prejudice to the right of any of the parties to apply for the discontinued proceedings to be reinstated.
(5) For the purposes of this section, a reference to a party includes a reference to any person claiming through or under such party.
Court’s powers on stay of proceedings
7.—(1) Where a court stays proceedings under section 6, the court may, if in those proceedings property has been arrested or bail or other security has been given to prevent or obtain release from arrest, order that —
(a) the property arrested be retained as security for the satisfaction of any award made on the arbitration; or
(b) the stay be conditional on the provision of equivalent security for the satisfaction of any such award.
(2) Subject to the Rules of Court and to any necessary modification, the same law and practice shall apply in relation to property retained in pursuance of an order under this section as would apply if it were held for the purposes of proceedings in the court which made the order.
Reference of interpleader issue to arbitration
8. Where in proceedings before any court relief by way of interpleader is granted and any issue between the claimants is one in respect of which there is an arbitration agreement between them, the court granting the relief may direct the issue between the claimants to be determined in accordance with the agreement.
[Act 12 of 2012 wef 01/06/2012]
Commencement of arbitral proceedings
9. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the arbitral proceedings in respect of a particular dispute shall commence on the date on which a request for that dispute to be referred to arbitration is received by the respondent.
[Act 12 of 2012 wef 01/06/2012]
Powers of Court to extend time for beginning of arbitral proceedings
10.—(1) Where the terms of an arbitration agreement to refer future disputes to arbitration provide that a claim to which the arbitration agreement applies shall be barred unless —
(a) some step has been taken to begin other dispute resolution procedures which must be exhausted before arbitral proceedings can be begun;
[Act 12 of 2012 wef 01/06/2012]
(b) notice to appoint an arbitrator is given;
(c) an arbitrator is appointed; or
(d) some other step is taken to commence arbitral proceedings,
[Act 12 of 2012 wef 01/06/2012]
within a time fixed by the agreement and a dispute to which the agreement applies has arisen, the Court may, if it is of the opinion that in the circumstances of the case undue hardship would otherwise be caused, extend the time for such period and on such terms as the Court thinks fit.
(2) An order of extension of time made by the Court under subsection (1) —
(a) may be made only after any available arbitral process for obtaining an extension of time has been exhausted;

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