Singapore: 중재 합의의 준거법에 관한 싱가포르 고등법원의 최근 판결: BCY v. BCZ [2016] SGHC 249

Last Updated: 13 December 2016
Article by June Yeum

법률이 잘 정비가 되지 않았거나 예측가능성이 현저히 떨어짐에도 불구하고 사업적 이유로 인하여 현지법을 계약의 준거법으로 해야 하는 경우가 발생합니다. 그런데, 이러한 경우에도 중재지를 싱가포르로 하는 SIAC 중재 조항을 둔다면 중재지법인 싱가포르법이 중재 합의의 준거법이 될 것이라고 생각하시는 경우를 종종 볼 수 있습니다. 그러나, 싱가포르 고등법원은 최근 BCY v. BCZ [2016] SGHC 249 사건에서, 당사자들의 명시적인 선택이 없는 경우 중재 합의의 준거법은 중재 합의를 포함하고 있는 주된 계약의 준거법과 동일한 것으로 추정된다는 입장을 명확히 하였습니다.

1. 본 판결의 의의

  • 본 판결의 의의는 중재 합의의 준거법에 대한 싱가포르 고등법원의 입장을 명확히 하였다는 점에서 찾을 수 있습니다.
    당사자들이 중재 합의의 준거법을 명시적으로 선택하지 않은 경우 어느 나라법이 중재 합의의 준거법이 되는가라는 문제에 대하여 그 동안 싱가포르 법원의 견해가 엇갈리고 있었습니다. 영국 항소법원은Sulamérica Cia Nacional de Seguros SA v. Enesa Engelharia SA [2013] 1 WLR 102 (이하 "Sulamérica") 사건에서, 중재 합의가 주된 계약의 일부를 구성하는 경우 (예를 들어, 본 사안처럼 매매계약서에 중재 조항이 포함되어 있는 경우) 주된 계약의 준거법이 중재 합의의 준거법으로 추정된다고 판단하였는바, 그 후 싱가포르 고등법원은 최소 두 개의 사건에서(주석 1) 이와 동일한 내용의 판단을 하였습니다. 그러나, 싱가포르 고등법원은 FirstLink Investments Corp Ltd v. GT Payment Pte Ltd [2014] SGHCR 12 사건에서는, 위Sulamérica 판결과는 달리, 반대 증거가 없는 한 당사자들 사이에는 중재지법을 중재 합의의 준거법으로 하는 묵시적인 합의가 존재한다고 판시하였습니다. 이러한 상반된 판결들로 인한 법적 불안정성이 존재하는 상황에서 싱가포르 고등법원은 본 판결을 통해 주된 계약의 준거법이 중재 합의의 준거법으로 추정된다는 입장을 명확히 하였습니다.   
     
  • 싱가포르 고등법원은 본 판결에서 분리가능성 원칙(Doctrine of Separability)에 대한 견해를 밝히고 있습니다.
    싱가포르 고등법원은 본 판결에서 Sulamérica판결은 분리가능성 원칙에 위배되지 않는다는 입장을 명확히 하였습니다. 즉, 분리가능성 원칙은 주된 계약이 무효라고 하더라도 분쟁 해결 방법을 규정하고 있는 중재 조항은 여전히 유효할 것이라는 당사자들의 기대를 보호하고자 하는 것이지, 주된 계약과 중재 합의가 모든 면에서 분리된다는 의미가 아니라고 판시하였습니다. 따라서, 당사자들이 중재 합의의 준거법을 명시적으로 선택하지 않은 경우 주된 계약의 준거법이 중재 합의의 준거법으로 추정된다는 Sulamérica판결은 분리가능성 원칙에 위배되지 않는다고 할 것입니다.

2. 본 판결의 시사점

  • 중재 합의의 준거법에 대한 정함이 없는 경우, 싱가포르 법원은 주된 계약의 준거법에 기하여 중재 합의의 효력 유무를 판단할 가능성이 매우 높습니다.
    현지법을 계약의 준거법으로 정하더라도 중재지를 싱가포르로 하는 SIAC 중재 조항을 둔다면 중재 합의에 대해서는 중재지법인 싱가포르법이 적용될 것이라고 생각하시는 경우를 볼 수 있습니다. 그러나, 본 판결에 나타난 싱가포르 고등법원의 견해는 이와는 정반대의 입장을 취하고 있습니다. 예를 들어, 파키스탄에서 진행된 사업과 관련하여 주된 계약의 준거법이 파키스탄법이고 싱가포르를 중재지로 하는 SIAC 중재 합의에 대해서는 별도의 준거법을 정하지 않았다면, 중재판정부 및 싱가포르 고등법원은 중재 합의의 효력이 다투어지는 경우 중재지법인 싱가포르법이 아닌 주된 계약의 준거법인 파키스탄법을 준거법으로 하여 중재 합의의 효력 유무를 판단할 가능성이 매우 높습니다.
        
  • 본 판결은 주된 계약의 준거법이 아닌 다른 법이 중재 합의의 준거법으로 인정될 가능성을 열어 두고 있습니다.
    우선, 주된 계약내에 포함되어 있지 않은 별도의 중재 합의 (freestanding arbitration agreement) – 특정 프로젝트와 관련된 모든 계약에 적용되는 중재 합의, 또는 분쟁이 발생한 이후에 체결된 중재 합의 등이 이에 해당합니다 – 에 대해서는 주된 계약의 준거법이 중재 합의의 준거법으로 추정되지 아니합니다. 이러한 경우에는 중재지법이 준거법으로 인정될 가능성이 높습니다. 또한, 위 원칙은 반증이 가능한 추정이므로 법원은 반증에 의하여 다른 법을 준거법으로 인정할 수도 있습니다. 예를 들어 주된 계약의 준거법이 중재 제기시 특정인의 동의를 요구한다면, 이는 분쟁을 중재 절차에 의하여 해결하기로 한 당사자들의 합의를 손상시킬 우려가 있으므로 중재지법이 중재 합의의 준거법으로 인정될 가능성이 높습니다.
     
  • 중재 합의의 준거법에 관한 불필요한 다툼을 피하기 위해서는 중재 조항 안에 준거법을 명시하는 것이 바람직합니다.
    중재 합의의 준거법과 관련된 이러한 법적 불안정성은 준거법에 대한 당사자들의 명시적인 선택이 존재하지 않기 때문에 발생하는 것입니다. 따라서, 중재 조항 안에 아래 예문과 같이 중재 합의의 준거법을 명시함으로써 불필요한 분쟁의 소지를 제거하는 것이 바람직합니다. 특히 예측가능성이 현저히 떨어지는 현지법을 주된 계약의 준거법으로 한 경우에는 중재 조항 내에 별도의 준거법을 명시함으써 현지법이 중재 합의 관련 분쟁에 대한 준거법으로 적용될 가능성을 차단할 필요가 있습니다.  

    예문) "This arbitration clause shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of _________."

    본 판결과 관련하여 의문 사항이 있으시거나 추가적인 정보를 원하시는 경우에는 언제라도 연락을 주시기 바랍니다.

    주석 1) Piallo GmbH v. Yafriro International Pte Ltd [2014] 1 SLR 1028,  Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza SpA v. Rals International Pte Ltd [2016] 1 SLR 79

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