Singapore becomes venue in Asia to settle sea disputes

The government of Singapore has allowed the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to use Singapore as a venue in Asia for proceedings in cases to settle disputes relating to the law of the sea.

A joint declaration was signed on 31 August between ITLOS president Vladimir Golitsyn and permanent secretary to the ministry of law Ng How Yue.

Under the commitments of the joint declaration, Singapore will provide appropriate facilities to the tribunal for a special chamber of the tribunal or the tribunal to sit or exercise its functions in the city-state.

The country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for 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,” Shanmugam continued.

ITLOS is an independent judicial body established by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Singapore became a party to the convention in November 1994.

Currently, there are 167 parties to the convention, which comprises 166 states and the European Union. 

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