Closing speech for AMLAC 2014 by Mr Goh Joon Seng

Closing speech for AMLAC 2014
by Mr Goh Joon Seng
The Honourable Justice Quentin Loh, members of Singapore
Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA), members of
Maritime Law Association of Singapore (MLAS), ladies and
We have to come to the close of the conference and
networking spanning the last 2 days. My thanks to Ms
Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State for Law and
Education for gracing this conference as our Guest of
Honour and delivering the keynote address, which
provided us with a view of the development of maritime
law and arbitration through the lens of the government.
I also wish to record my thanks to Justice Quentin Loh for
agreeing to preside over the mock hearing and chairing
the final session. His observations at the mock hearing
and his able direction of the discussion by the panellists
are incisive. We all have benefitted from the exchanges.
One is struck by the diversity of views representing
different jurisdictions and business sectors. This is a clear
demonstration of how international the practice of
maritime law and arbitration has become and that those
wishing to succeed in these areas at an international level
will need to keep themselves abreast of developments
beyond their own borders and jurisdiction.
We are also fortunate to have so many distinguished and
learned speakers, session chairs, panellists and mock
tribunal members joining us these past 2 days. I note that
many have come from overseas from both civil and
common law jurisdictions. Their arbitration during this
conference will be compiled as a learning resource for
both SCMA and the Maritime Law Association of
Singapore. These will serve us well as we continue to
provoke and provide thought leadership in maritime law
and arbitration in Singapore.
To all of you who
contributed your time and effort so generously, especially
our visitors, please accept my deepest appreciation for
supporting our conference.
Shipping continues to be dogged by financial uncertainties
I am told that the number of contractual disputes and
defaults in this sector remains high. By contrast, the
Oil&Gas (O&G) industry remains buoyant. The inclusion of
an O&G segment into the Asian Maritime Law and
Arbitration Conference reflects a desire by the leaders of
SCMA and that of the Maritime Law Association of
Singapore to further explore and deepen the common
interests shared by the shipping / O&G industries. The
model of maritime arbitration occupies a unique role in
the resolution of disputes in terms of cost and case
management. In these challenging times, these factors are
particularly pertinent and relevant for practitioners and
principals locked in dispute resolution.
Moving forward, the model of maritime arbitration in
Singapore will need to be modified to keep in step with
changes advocated by the needs of our industry. The
introduction of SCMA Expedited Arbitral Determination of
Collision Claims (SEADOCC) as an arbitral solution to
resolve apportionment of liability for colliding ships is one
such example. In other areas, the tighter integration of
the mediation process and arbitration will feature in our
constant quest to develop more innovative and cost
effective avenues for dispute resolution. Whilst the exact
form this development will take remains a work in
progress, what is certain is our determination to commit
to constant refinement in order to remain relevant to our
Finally, I would like to record our appreciation and thanks
to our sponsors (both known and anonymous) and
supporting organizations. Exceeding what was recorded
last year, their support of this event has been
overwhelming. We continue to see a strong diversity of
industry sponsors alongside the traditional support given
by law firms. This is a reaffirmation of the successful
outreach initiatives by SCMA and the Maritime Law
Association of Singapore to the maritime and legal
community, an avenue we will continue to pursue.
It is now my pleasure to close this conference and invite all
of you to proceed to the post conference dinner reception
where other invited guests will join us and where you may
continue with your discussions, make new friends, renew
your old friendships or just reminisce over the good old
times. Thank you and have a pleasant evening.