Key features which the SIAC Rules 2016 include:
- the introduction of a new streamlined process to deal with disputes arising out of multiple contracts (Rules 6 and 8). The process gives the claimant the option of filing a single Notice of Arbitration in respect of all the arbitration agreements invoked and that Notice is treated as an application to consolidate all such arbitrations.
- a new procedure for the joinder of additional parties both prior to and after the constitution of the arbitral tribunal (Rule 7);
- a new procedure for the early dismissal of claims and defences (Rule 29). This is a radical new step which is intended to offer parties a mechanism for dealing with claims or defences that are manifestly without legal merit or manifestly outside the jurisdiction of the tribunal;
- delocalising the seat of arbitration (Rule 21). Singapore will no longer be the default seat of arbitration under the SIAC Rules. Unless the parties have agreed otherwise, the tribunal will determine the seat of arbitration, having regard to all the circumstances of the case. However, unless the parties have agreed otherwise, Singapore remains the default seat for emergency arbitrator proceedings;
- expanding the Expedited Procedure (Rule 5). The monetary threshold for the applicability of the Expedited Procedure has been raised from SG $5,000,000 to SG $6,000,000;
- arbitrator challenges (Rules 15 and 16). A party challenging an arbitrator is required to pay a challenge fee of SG $8,000. The SIAC Court will issue reasoned decisions on any challenge to an arbitrator.