S'pore becomes venue for settling sea disputes

Singapore has become a venue in Asia to settle disputes arising from the Law of the Sea.

It signed a joint declaration yesterday to allow the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Itlos) to hear such proceedings here. The tribunal is an independent judicial body established by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Singapore became a party to the Convention on Nov 17, 1994.

Under the declaration, signed by Ministry of Law Permanent Secretary Ng How Yue and tribunal president Vladimir Golitsyn, the Government would provide facilities to the tribunal or a special chamber of the tribunal, for it to hold proceedings or exercise its other functions here.

In a statement, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam said: "The Joint Declaration is a clear endorsement of Singapore as a neutral venue for the effective settlement of international disputes.

"It also demonstrates Singapore's commitment to the international rule of law by facilitating access to Itlos in order to serve the needs of the states of this region, with a view to promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes relating to the Law of the Sea."

Said Judge Golitsyn: "I am extremely grateful to the Government of Singapore for its willingness to assist the tribunal in the provision of appropriate facilities whenever the tribunal considers it desirable for a special chamber of the tribunal or the tribunal to sit or exercise its functions in Singapore."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2015, with the headline 'S'pore becomes venue for settling sea disputes'. Print Edition | Subscribe