Understanding Arbitration in Singapore: A Guide to the Role of an Arbitrator

arbitrator Singapore

Introduction to Arbitration

Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution that offers parties a private and efficient alternative to traditional court proceedings. In Singapore, arbitration is governed by robust legal frameworks and is widely favored for its flexibility and effectiveness.

The Role of an Arbitrator

Arbitrator Singapore play a pivotal role in resolving disputes. They are neutral and impartial individuals selected based on their expertise in the subject matter of the dispute. Their primary responsibility is to adjudicate disputes fairly and issue a binding decision called an arbitral award.

Key Features of Arbitration in Singapore

Confidentiality and Privacy

One of the significant advantages of arbitration is its confidentiality. Unlike court proceedings, arbitration hearings are private, ensuring that sensitive information remains protected.

Expertise and Specialization

Arbitrators in Singapore are typically experts in their respective fields. This ensures that they have the necessary knowledge to understand complex issues and make informed decisions.

Arbitration Process in Singapore

Initiation of Arbitration

Arbitration proceedings commence with the submission of a notice of arbitration by one party to the other. This document outlines the nature of the dispute and the relief sought.

Appointment of Arbitrators

Arbitrators may be appointed by mutual agreement of the parties or through an arbitration institution such as the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). The selection criteria often include qualifications and experience relevant to the dispute.

Preliminary Hearing

A preliminary hearing is typically held to discuss procedural matters, including the appointment of arbitrators, timelines for submissions, and preliminary issues.

Conduct of Proceedings

Arbitration proceedings involve the submission of written statements, exchange of evidence, witness testimonies, and oral arguments during hearings. The arbitrator(s) facilitate these proceedings to ensure a fair and efficient resolution.

Issuance of Award

After considering all evidence and arguments presented, the arbitrator(s) issue a final arbitral award. This decision is binding on the parties involved and enforceable under Singapore law.

Advantages of Arbitration in Singapore

Flexibility and Control

Parties have significant control over the arbitration process, including the selection of arbitrators, procedural rules, and the language of proceedings.


Arbitration in Singapore is known for its efficiency and timely resolution of disputes, often avoiding the delays associated with traditional court litigation.

International Recognition

Singapore is a signatory to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, facilitating the enforcement of arbitration awards globally.

Challenges and Considerations

Cost Implications

While arbitration can be cost-effective compared to litigation, it may involve significant initial costs, including arbitrator fees and administrative expenses.

Limited Right of Appeal

Arbitration awards are generally final and binding, with limited grounds for appeal. Parties must carefully consider this aspect before opting for arbitration.


Arbitration in Singapore continues to be a preferred choice for resolving domestic and international disputes, offering confidentiality, expertise, and enforceability of awards. Understanding the role of an arbitrator and the arbitration process can empower parties to make informed decisions and achieve efficient resolutions to their disputes.

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