The Singapore Convention was Ratified by Turkey
United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, also as known as the Singapore Convention was ratified with the Law no. 7282 published in the Official Gazette dated March 11, 2021 by Turkey.
The signing ceremony of the Convention was held in Singapore on August 7, 2019, and the Convention entered into force on September 12, 2020, six months after the date on which Qatar ratified the Convention, March 12, 2020.
- What does the Convention regulate?
The Convention regulates the enforcement of settlement agreements concluded between the parties resulting from international commercial mediation and aims to draw a legal framework for settlement agreements.
The Convention consisting of 16 articles; it regulates the application area and general principles, the conditions for the enforcement of settlement agreements, the reasons foreseen for rejecting the enforcement of the settlement agreement, parallel applications or requests, other laws and international conventions and reservations.
- Which settle agreements are within the scope of the Convention?
According to the 1st article of the Convention; agreements concluded in writing and signed between the parties resulting from mediation to resolve an international commercial dispute are within the scope of the Convention. Settle agreements not concluded in writing are not covered by the Convention.
Within the scope of the Convention, the requirement that a settlement agreement be in writing is met by an electronic communication if the information contained therein is accessible so as to be useable for subsequent reference.
The Convention does not apply to settlement agreements concluded to resolve a dispute arising from transactions engaged in by one of the parties (a consumer) for personal, family or household purposes; or relating to family, inheritance or employment law.
- What are the requirements for settlement agreements to be enforced?
In order for a settlement agreement to be enforced, the requesting party must prove that the agreement was signed by the parties and that the agreement was resulted from mediation. In case that the settlement agreement has been concluded by an electronic communication, then the signatures on the agreement will be proven with the content of such electronic communication.
If the settlement agreement requested for enforcement is not in the official language of that state party, the competent authorities may request a translation thereof into one of the official languages and may require any necessary document in order to verify that the requirements of the Convention are met.
State Parties have an obligation to conclude the requests for the enforcement of a settlement agreement expeditiously.
- What are the grounds for refusing the enforcement?
The Convention also regulates the grounds for refusing the enforcement of the settlement agreement. At the request of a party to the settlement agreement, the competent authority may refuse the enforcement of the settlement agreement, provided that the following conditions are proven by that party.
- A party to the settlement agreement was under some incapacity;
- The settlement agreement requested to be enforced is null and void, inoperative or incapable of being performed;
- The settlement agreement requested to be enforced is not binding, or is not final, according to its terms;
- The settlement agreement requested to be enforced has been subsequently modified;
- The obligations in the settlement agreement have been performed; or are not clear or comprehensible;
- The enforcement would be contrary to the terms of the settlement agreement;
- There was a serious breach by the mediator of standards applicable to the mediator or the mediation without which breach that party would not have entered into the settlement agreement; or
- There was a failure by the mediator to disclose to the parties’ circumstances that raise justifiable doubts as to the mediator’s impartiality or independence and such failure to disclose had a material impact or undue influence on a party without which failure that party would not have entered into the settlement agreement.
In addition to the above, the competent authority may also refuse to grant relief if it finds that:
- The enforcement would be contrary to the public policy of that state party; or
- The subject matter of the dispute is not capable of settlement by mediation under the law of that state party.
The Convention is an important step in terms of the enforcement of the settlement agreements concluded between the parties resulting from international commercial mediation. Turkey has ratified this Convention and therefore has become a state in where the settlement agreements could be enforced. Although no law has been enacted on how the enforcement processes will be, the approval of the Convention is an important legal step in terms of international commercial disputes.
Attorney at Law