India signs UN Convention on International Settlement Agreements

India signed United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements (UNISA) also known as Singapore Convention on Mediation. It was signed by India’s High Commissioner to Singapore Jawed Ashraf, representing Government of India (GoI). So far 46 countries have signed this international treaty on settlement agreements.

Benefits for India: It is particularly important for the growth of mediation in India and enhancing the ease of doing business in India particularly in the legal front. It will help to boost confidence of investors especially foreign investors investing in India. It will provide positive signal to foreign investors about India’s commitment for adhering to international practice on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) or external dispute resolution (EDR).

About UN Convention on International Settlement Agreement (UNISA)

It is also known as Singapore Convention on Mediation. In December 2018 UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted The United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation.

It provides uniform framework for enforcing international settlement agreements which results from mediation. It also provide efficient framework for allowing parties to invoke such agreements similar to framework that New York Convention (or Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York, 1958)) provides for arbitral awards.

It defines 2 additional grounds upon which a court may, on its own motion, refuse to grant relief. Those 2 grounds relate to fact that a dispute would be contrary to public policy or would not be capable of settlement by mediation.

It ensures that parties reach a settlement that becomes binding and enforceable in accordance with simplified and streamlined procedure.

Significance: It aims to become essential instrument that facilitates international trade and in promotion of mediation as alternative and effective method of resolving trade disputes. It also seeks to contribute to strengthening access to justice, and to the rule of law.

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