Challenging arbitral jurisdiction and anti-suit injunctions in support of arbitration in Singapore
Produced in partnership with Peter Doraisamy, Andrew Lee and Nicole Kwan of Peter Doraisamy LLC
Challenging arbitral jurisdiction and anti-suit injunctions in support of arbitration in Singapore

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Peter Doraisamy, Andrew Lee and Nicole Kwan of Peter Doraisamy LLC provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Challenging arbitral jurisdiction and anti-suit injunctions in support of arbitration in Singapore
  • Challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal pre-award—the Singapore Arbitration Act and the Singapore International Arbitration Act
  • Grounds for challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal post-award
  • Anti-suit injunctions in support of international arbitration proceedings—do they also include foreign arbitrations?
  • Indemnity costs for breach of arbitration agreement

Challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal pre-award—the Singapore Arbitration Act and the Singapore International Arbitration Act

Singapore has a dual arbitration regime with the Singapore Arbitration Act (Cap 10) (the AA) governing domestic arbitrations and the Singapore International Arbitration Act (Cap 143A) (the IAA) governing international arbitrations whether seated in Singapore or abroad.

Both the Arbitration Act and the International Arbitration Act recognise the principle of the arbitration agreement being a separate agreement from the underlying contract as well as the doctrine of Kompetenz-Kompetenz. Kompetenz-Kompetenz refers to the arbitral tribunal’s jurisdiction to determine its own jurisdiction—this includes a determination that it does not have jurisdiction over the dispute between the parties (see the AA, s 21 and Article 16 of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the Model Law), as modified by the IAA, s 10).

In Oei Hong Leong v Goldman Sachs International [2014] 3 SLR 1217 (not reported by LexisNexis® UK) at para [24], the Singapore High Court explained that where parties have submitted their dispute to arbitration, '[t]he arbitral tribunal was intended to have primacy in the sense that parties expected all their questions (even jurisdictional questions about the scope or existence of the arbitration agreement) arising out of their contract to be comprehensively decided by arbitration'. Together with the doctrine of Kompetenz-Kompetenz, the principle of judicial non-intervention (minimal curial