Worldwide: 新加坡设立国际商事法庭

Last Updated: January 11 2016
Article by Jones Day

新加坡国际商事法庭("SICC")本月开始了其第一宗案件的审理:这宗高达8亿900万美元的争议源于澳大利亚与印度尼西亚公司就产自印度尼西亚东加里曼丹省升级煤的生产和销售所签订的合资协议。 1 SICC于2015年1月设立,是新加坡迈向国际争议解决中心的一座里程碑。

SICC旨在专门处理跨国商事争议。新法庭属全球授权机构,有望成为可靠高效地解决亚洲跨国争议的特别法庭。本简评简要概述了SICC的主要特点,包括其管辖权、构成和诉讼程序。

管辖权

新加坡最高法院由高级法院和上诉法院组成。SICC是该司法架构中高级法院的一个部门。这意味着SICC的判决可作为高级法院的判决强制执行,且在特定情况下可向上诉法院上诉。然而,不同于典型的市级法院,SICC没有受理争议的固有管辖权(涉及其自身判决和命令的藐视程序除外)。 2 通常来讲,SICC有权基于以下情况受理案件: 3

  • 诉讼请求具有"国际性"和"商业性";
  • 诉讼当事方以书面协议(例如,管辖权条款项下)形式提交SICC管辖;及
  • 诉讼当事方未以特权命令形式的或有关特权命令(比如强制令、禁止令、撤销令或拘留审查的命令)寻求任何救济;
  • 一般情况下,如果满足以下标准的任何一条,诉讼请求将被视为具有"国际性": 4
  • 当事方在不同国家拥有其营业场所;
  • 当事方在新加坡均无营业场所;
  • 当事方之间商业关系所涉义务需在任一方拥有营业场所的国家之外实际履行;
  • 该争议标的事项最接近的地区位于任何当事方营业场所所在国家的境外;或
  • 当事方均明确同意,争议标的事项牵涉不止一个国家。
  • 由任何具有商业性质关系引起的诉讼请求将被视为具有"商业性",如贸易交易、经销协议、建筑工程、咨询、工程或许可贸易和合资经营。 5

如果案件由高级法院移交至SICC,则对当事方同意提交SICC管辖权的要求有例外情况。 6 根据当事一方的申请或其自身动议,高级法院可在以下情况下移交案件: 7

  • 诉讼请求具有"国际性"和"商业性";
  • 诉讼当事方未以特权命令形式的或有关特权命令寻求任何救济;
  • SICC将承接对案件的管辖权;及
  • SICC审理该案件更为合适。

例如,与在新加坡进行的国际仲裁相关的高级法院诉讼程序可移交至SICC。

SICC评审团

提交至SICC的争议将由一名或三名法官审判。法官的具体数量由SICC自行决定。争议金额相对较高或涉及复杂事实或法律问题的诉讼请求更可能由三名法官听审。

SICC评审团由当地的新加坡籍法官(目前高级法院和上诉法院的任职人员)和国际法官组成。目前SICC评审团有来自大陆法系和普通法系的12名国际法官,分别为Ms Carolyn Berger (美国);The Hon. Justice Patricia Bergin (澳大利亚);Mr Roger Giles (澳大利亚);Dr Irmgard Griss (奥地利);Justice Dominique T. Hascher (法国); Mr Dyson Heydon AC QC (澳大利亚);Sir Vivian Ramsey (英国);Mr Anselmo Reyes(香港);The Rt. Hon. Sir Bernard Rix (英国);Prof. Yasuhei Taniguchi (日本);Mr Simon Thorley QC (英国);以及Sir Henry Bernard Eder(英国)。

外国法律顾问

对于涉及跨国商业的诉讼,SICC的一大优势在于代理方面具有更大自由性。从SICC诉讼程序的国际性质来看,在特定情况下当事方有权由外国律师(即在新加坡没有代理资质的律师)代理。 8 特别是,在与新加坡没有实质关联的"离岸案件"中,当事一方可由外国律师代理。 9

在SICC诉讼程序中代理当事方的外国律师须根据《法律从业法令》(第161章)第36P条进行登记。

诉讼程序

SICC的诉讼程序不适用国内诉讼程序规则。SICC遵循国际最佳实践(特别参照了《英国商事法庭指南》),形成了自身的一套综合规则和实践指引。SICC规则与新加坡国内法院使用的诉讼程序主要有以下三方面的不同:

  • SICC不受新加坡证据规则的约束,除非SICC根据《法庭规则》决定适用该规则; 10
  • 即使新加坡证据规则在某些领域适用,SICC可允许外国法的任何问题根据意见书决定,而不是正式的专家证据; 11
  • 诉讼程序的文件出具、书面质询和当事方的合并审理都有独立的诉讼程序和实践。 12

不同于传统法院,当事方可同意放弃、限制或变更其对SICC决定的上诉权,前提是该约定以书面形式达成。 13

SICC判决和命令的执行

新加坡签订有许多互惠执行协议,使得新加坡法院的判决在许多国家更容易获得承认和执行,特别是在英联邦国家,比如英国、印度和澳大利亚。 14 但是,在一些关键的司法管辖区(比如美国和许多东盟国家),目前新加坡的判决只能在普通法或其他适用的国内法允许的范围内执行。仲裁裁决普遍比法院判决更容易获得执行,特别是在《纽约公约》的155个缔约国中。

新加坡近来开始采取措施,通过签署《海牙选择法院协议公约》("公约")解决这一问题。 15 如果当事方都明确选择成员国中的一所法院解决其争议,公约规定该法院判决必须获得其他成员国法院的承认和执行。 16 欧盟和美国已签署但尚未批准该公约。一旦该公约生效并获得新加坡的批准,可执行SICC判决的管辖区域数量将会增加。若想获知新加坡签署该公约及其影响的更多信息,请参见我们的先前的简评。

此外,最高法院正与新加坡政府和其他法院系统合作,简化传统普通法规则项下对判决的执行。2015年1月,最高法院与迪拜国际金融中心法院签署了关于金钱判决相互执行的非约束性"备忘录指南"。 17 在两个管辖区域尚未签署正式公约的期间,备忘录指南有望简化各自法院判决的执行程序。

结语

SICC是新加坡争议解决途径的又一可靠选择,该途径还包括新加坡国际仲裁中心和新加坡国际调解中心。SICC不会取代上述机构,但它对在一个中立地点的一套可靠法院系统中解决跨国争议感到更加舒适的企业而言将是一个有吸引力的选择。SICC比亚太地区的国内法院体系有更多的优势,包括为国际争议量身定制的灵活程序、商业方法、具有国际经验的强大的法官团、以及在涉及外国法律体系的"离岸案件"中选用国际法律顾问的自由。

Footnotes

1. BCBC Singapore Pte Ltd v PT Bayan Resources TBK (SIC/S 1/2015)。2015年5月11日,SICC与当事方就该案件召开了案件管理会议。欲获取本会议详细信息,请参见2015年5月11日至2015年5月15日该周的SICC法律通知。

2.新加坡法院规则,第110号命令,第7(2)条规则。

3.新加坡法院规则,第110号命令,第7条规则。

4.新加坡法院规则,第110号命令,第1(2) (a)条规则。

5.新加坡法院规则,第110号命令,第1(2) (b)条规则。值得注意的是,《法院规则》项下所列商业关系的例子与《1985年联合国国际贸易法委员会示范法》第1(1)条项下对"商业性"的定义相同,而该法根据《新加坡国际仲裁法(第143章)》第3节在新加坡境内具有法律效力。

6.新加坡法院规则,第110号命令,第1(2) (a)条规则。

7.新加坡法院规则,第110号命令,第12(4) (a)条规则。

8.SICC执业指引,第26条执业指引。

9.新加坡法院规则,第110号命令,第1(2) (f) (i)条和第34条规则和SICC执业指引,第29条执业指引。

10.新加坡法院规则,第110号命令,第23条规则。

11.新加坡法院规则,第110号命令,第25条规则。

12.例如,参见新加坡法院规则,第110号命令,第9条和第14-22条规则。

13 SICC执业指引,第139条执业指引。

14 《英联邦判决相互执行法》(第264章)中规定了英国和众多英联邦管辖区域上级法院判决的登记和执行,包括新西兰、斯里兰卡、马来西亚、向风群岛、印度(不包括查谟和喀什米尔)和澳大利亚。《外国判决相互执行法》(第265章)允许在新加坡执行对新加坡判决有互惠待遇的外国国家的判决和裁定。目前,该法令的适用范围仅扩展至中华人民共和国香港特别行政区(仅适用该法令的第1部分)。

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