Certain Issues Concerning Costs in Arbitration-Related Court Proceedings
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About the project

The Singapore Academy of Law’s Law Reform Committee dealt with two questions:

(1) How the court should approach the question of the costs of arbitral proceedings when a party to an international arbitration challenges the arbitral tribunal’s jurisdiction, fails in a preliminary determination, appeals the tribunal’s decision to the court under section 10 of the International Arbitration Act (Cap 143A, 2002 Rev Ed) (‘IAA’), and the appeal succeeds.

(2) How to address the inability of the court to make an order in respect of the cost of arbitral proceedings when a party’s application to set aside an arbitral tribunal’s award succeeds at the final stage.

In brief, the Committee proposed the following measures:

(1) As regards the first question:

(a) When an appeal pursuant to section 10 of the IAA is taken, the parties should be required to file costs schedules to allow the court to benchmark one party’s costs against the other’s.

(b) In high-value cases, the court should encourage the parties to apply for the apportionment of costs-assessors to assist the court.

(c) Arbitral institutions should consider instituting a practice of having tribunals, when making decisions on jurisdictional challenges, pronounce on the arbitration costs incurred up to that stage, which would serve as a useful reference point for the court.

(2) As regards the second question:

(a) Parties should be required to file costs schedules prior to the determination of (i) appeals against jurisdiction pursuant to section 10 of the IAA and section 21A of the Arbitration Act (Cap 10, 2002 Rev Ed) (‘AA’); and (ii) applications to set aside an award pursuant to section 24 of the IAA (or article 34(2) of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration) and section 48 of the AA.

(b) In complex cases, the court should encourage the parties to agree to or apply to appoint an assessor to assist the court in making a summary assessment as to costs.

(c) Section 24 of the IAA and section 48 of the AA should be amended to expressly empower the court to make an order providing for the costs of an arbitrtaion consequent on an order to set aside an award wholly or in part.

Project status: Completed

  • The report was published in February 2019.

Areas of law

Arbitration law
Civil procedure


Report on Certain Issues Concerning Costs in Arbitration-Related Court Proceedings

Click on the image above to view the report

Last updated 10 May 2019